Blues come up empty in shootouts...again

Blues come up empty in shootouts...again

Credit: AP

Nashville Predators' Martin Erat, of the Czech Republic, left, scores the winning goal against St. Louis Blues' goalie Jaroslav Halak, of the Czech Republic, right, during the fifth round of the shootout in an NHL hockey game Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, in St. Louis. The Predators won 2-1. (AP Photo/Sarah Conard)

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by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

HockeyStL

Posted on December 31, 2011 at 12:53 AM

(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues shootout attempts this season are starting to resemble the scene from The Mighty Ducks when Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez), as a kid, misses a penalty shot which costs his team a title.

Although the shootouts have yet to cost the Blues a chance at the Stanley Cup, it has taken away extra points from a team that is searching for its first playoff berth since the 2008-09 season.

“It is what it is,” Ken Hitchcock said.  “I find these things go in cycles and sometimes you have years where you are great and sometimes you have years you are (bad).”

This season would be considered one of those down years for the Blues who are 0-5 in shootouts after dropping another one to the Nashville Predators in a 2-1 loss on Friday night.

The Blues are only 1-for-17 in the shootouts including the 0-for-5 performance against Pekka Rinne and the Predators.

Three of the five Blues shooters on Friday (Patrik Berglund, Kevin Shattenkirk and David Backes) have never scored a shootout goal in their career.  The other two shooters, David Perron and T.J. Oshie, are a combined 16-for-42 in their career.

“It is frustrating for the whole team-especially for me, someone who takes pride in scoring in shootouts and see the effort (Jaroslav Halak) put forth for us tonight and to not get the extra points is unacceptable I think,” Oshie said.

Halak, who stopped 33-of-34 shots against the Predators in regulation, has been in net for all of the Blues shootouts this season.  He has allowed six goals in 16 attempts this year.

“In shootouts, it is just a 50-50 chance and it seems like this season we are having a hard time doing this and these extra points for us and it could make a big difference at the end of the season,” Halak said. 

The Blues will have no time to dwell on another disappointing shootout loss as the team will travel to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Saturday night.

by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

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