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Shootout Suggestions?

Immediately following last night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, Coach Glen Hanlon said he probably wouldn't make any changes to his struggling shootout lineup, despite the fact that the Capitals are 0-4 in contests decided by penalty shots, and a staggering 0 for 10 in those situations.

Today, Hanlon switched his stance.

"Eventually it gets to a point where you have to shake up the lineup for the sake of a change and give them a break," Hanlon said, careful not to single out anyone. "Sometimes just a change is good enough. I think it's time to look for some other people to give a chance to. If you take a look at the makeup of our hockey team, you really do expect the group that we've used" to score.

Against the Bruins, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, two of the NHL's most gifted players, were stopped by unheralded goaltender Tim Thomas. Matt Pettinger also misfired.

Ovechkin is now 0 for 4 this season (and 0 for 8 dating from last season); Semin is scoreless in three opportunities and Pettinger has missed twice. Richard Zednik, meantime, is 0 for 1.

My question is this: who would you put out there next time and why? Dainius Zubrus? Zednik? Tomas Fleischmann?

As Hanlon said, there is no proven formula for shootout success. Sometimes, it's just a gut feeling.

I'm interested in your thoughts.

In other news, Zednik appears ready to return tomorrow night against the Hurricanes from the wrist injury that has sidelined him for six games. Chris Clark is questionable after taking a stick to the mouth in the third period against the Bruins. And Zubrus, who left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury, is probable.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 16, 2006; 1:34 PM ET
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Use the same players but stop shooting wrist shots from 15 feet. Last night Pettinger had a beautiful breakaway goal in regulation and then takes a shot instead of making a move in the shootout. I know you want to mix it up, but it seems that is the plan for all the shooters. Also, I know the ice is chippier on the sides, but come in at wider angles to make the goalie move. He is just standing in the middle of the crease waiting.

Posted by: Mike - Connecticut | November 16, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I know Glen says you can't replicate the pressure, but maybe he should reconsider having some shootout drills.

Posted by: tallbear | November 16, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Honestly I think its all mental. Once the 1 of these boys makes it.... they wont stop.

They are trying to out think the goalie...they need to go back and have fun with it.

With that said, last nights 'loss' wasnt that bad. To come from down 2, is always good to get at least a point. Lets bounce back tomorrow night fellas.


Posted by: Go Skins Go | November 16, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I think at least for one game scratch Ovy and Semin.

I would try Zubrus, Pettinger and Flash.

What's the worst that could happen? Not score... they been there and done that.

Posted by: C-A-P-S | November 16, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

They should try Brashear, Erskine, and Bradley.

Posted by: Greg | November 16, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green, Zubrus, Brian Sutherby

Posted by: GOAAAAAAALL!!! | November 16, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

green, flash and, ovechkin needs a new move. he basically does the same thing every time.

Posted by: rob | November 16, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Clymer, Green and Zubrus.

Posted by: JLO | November 16, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon should hold a shootout contest after practice. The top three get to go first in the next real shootout.

Posted by: Rink Rat | November 16, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Talk the GM into supporting the elimination of the idiotic shootout. Bring back real hockey!!!

Posted by: Free Hockey | November 16, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with 'gut feeling' idea. That being said, Semin should not be shooting. The guy has not scored in a month, and should not have been in the shootout lineup. He is in a funk, and this is primarily mental. Once he starts scoring in regulation, he will start getting goals more consistently. When this happens he should be re-inserted in the shootout lineup. I would say the shootout should consist of the Caps 3 hottest scorers, which, right now, is Ovechkin, Zubrus, Pettinger (I would put them in that order as well). I love this team though, don't get me wrong.

Posted by: Evan | November 16, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Zubrus,OV and Clark. Let the Captain have a go at it.

Posted by: TJ | November 16, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Whatever they're doing's not working, and after all you've got the point anyway. So, I'd put three dark horses out there: Green, Pothier, Clymer. Hey - couldn't be worse than Ovie and Semin constanytly misfiring!

Tarik - question - how long will Hanlon be giving Klepis and Fleischmann their chance. Both of them keep blowing chances repeatedly. It gets to the point where you see one of them in open ice with a clean shot and you just wonder how they're going to blow it this time. I'm all about giving the kids a chance, but this is getting ridiculous.

Posted by: katzistan | November 16, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I would definitely stick with Ovechkin because you never know what is gonna happen with him...i would scratch Semin and put Zednik or Zubie in his place and give Flash or Mike Green a chance, Green showed he has some moves on that goal against Colorado

Posted by: Mike P. | November 16, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse


i don't think either Klepis or Fleischmann are going to get a quick hook, although i would havbe benched Klepis against the Bruins for those two lazy obstruction penalties. he's better than that.

But back to my point, if the Capitals believe Klepis or Fleischmann are going to become everyday players in the NHL, they need to let them play. They are learning twice as fast as they would playing in the AHL.

Posted by: Tarik | November 16, 2006 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Analyze videos of past shootout attempts. These guys are too good not to score or to be stopped by unknown rookie goalies. They must have shown tendencies in the past that other teams have probably analyzed.

Posted by: Monty2343 | November 16, 2006 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd try Zubrus & Zednik, maybe a veteran can break the drought. I'd still put in OV, that attempt last night, was close. Pettinger's been hot, I wouldn't hesitate to use him either.
I'd practice the shootout as well. I'd like to see them use some speed and lateral movement to get the goalie movinig & flapping all over the crease.

Posted by: Tnek | November 16, 2006 9:31 PM | Report abuse

The CAPS already have 5 overtime losses. Finish the opponent off in regulation or the overtime period and this problem goes away...

Often teams work to preserve the tie late in games instead of going for the win. The CAPS have come a long way, but being able to finish teams off would be a good step in the right direction.

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | November 16, 2006 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd go to the guys that haven't had a chance yet, like Flash and Green. The 3rd spot can be a reward to whomever seems on his game that night.

Either way, start practicing; if it's worth a point, it should be practiced, regardless of whether its deemed "true" hockey or not. You might not be able to reproduce atmosphere, but it ain't atmosphere that's stopping these guys; it's weak moves and flubbed shots.

Posted by: Kerplunk | November 17, 2006 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Chris Clark, (keep Pettinger), Mike Green

Posted by: IJ | November 17, 2006 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I think recently Ottawa's coach was fed up with his stars' lack of scoring (in regulation), so for the shootout he inserted his checking line. Lo and behold, they won the game. I'd bench the regulars for one shootout - but just one. That would shake them up.

Posted by: tokyo fan | November 17, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Put the load on your captains shoulders to shoot first. 2/3rd shooters..give the hard workers a shot..sutherby/gordon. the worse that happens is you miss all 3 again.

Posted by: cpkfan | November 17, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

the day sudsy and gordon get in a shootout is the day the caps admit they aren't a playoff team. i say put Fehr, Backstrom and OV1.

Posted by: rob | November 18, 2006 12:44 AM | Report abuse

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