DETROIT >> The NHL’s skills competition to decide games that don’t end in regulation or overtime hasn’t been kind to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Wings are 0-3 in the shootout, scoring just one goal and allowing five.
“It’s points on the table that you’d like to have,” Detroit assistant coach Tony Granato said. “I think we’ve got good shooters, we’ve got good goalies, so hopefully we can take advantage of that and figure out how to get some points out of that.”
Detroit practiced breakaways during practice on Monday for the first time all season. And it’s a skill they rarely have worked last season.
“You have to be comfortable and right now I don’t think any of us are,” Jimmy Howard said. “It’s one of those things you can do it in practice, but once you get 20,000 people watching you it might get a little nerve wracking. I don’t know I’m not a shooter. I can only imagine it’s probably not one of the best feelings.”
The Wings have scored on only 1-of-8 shots, while allowing five goals on seven shots (all against Howard).
“It could go either way in a shootout,” said Gustav Nyquist, who has Detroit’s lone goal in the shootout. “We’ve got to find a way to score.
“We’ve got to take care of business there and we haven’t,” Nyquist continued. “If you don’t take care of shootouts, that’s a lot of lost points. Every point is still important. Down the stretch we know from last year and two years ago, it’s been close. You know those shootout points are really going to matter. We got to find a way to get them.”
Since the league added the shootout to decide games, the Wings are 43-53, scoring 104 goals and allowing 107.
“Just get comfortable with a couple moves you might want to use, I think that’s the biggest thing,” Nyquist said. “You try to have a few different (moves) because the goalies scout you a little bit. If you only have one move the goalies are going to know what you’re doing. You try to have a few moves you can go to. You’re hoping that will work out.”
Over the last three seasons Detroit is just 7-17 in shootouts.
“In games, breakaways are a lot easier,” Stephen Weiss said. “All of a sudden you’re on a breakaway. You don’t have time to think about what to do. On a shootout you’ve got time. You might have a couple guys go before you and start second guessing your move. You just have to go in and shoot the puck.
“I don’t think (being fancy is) your intent,” Weiss continued. “Sometimes when you miss it may look that way, but you’re trying to score. The hardest part is having that much time to think about what you’re going to do. Sometimes you think yourself out of things.”
Many of the Wings feel the shootouts have run its course.
“I think a lot of guys are getting sick of it,” said Howard, who’s allowed 45 goals on 150 shots in shootouts. “There are a lot of different reasons for it. It was fun at the beginning, but I think how we’re deciding games it’s a tough way. Sometimes it’s not indicative of how you played. You get in the shootout and the pucks go in and all of a sudden you didn’t have a good game.”
“If they want to get rid of the shootouts go right to five minutes of 3-on-3,” Weiss said. “I think you would see a lot of games ending in 3-on-3. I think the players would love it. The fans would love it and you’d get rid of a lot of shootouts.”
“I heard some ideas about going to a 3-on-3,” Nyquist said. “I kind of like the idea. I think that’s going to end a lot of games. For sure you’re going to get chances. I think the crowd likes the shootout, but I think the 3-on-3 sounds pretty interesting.”