Current Lineup and the Shootout
Yesterday Barry Trotz sent out Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, and Josh Bailey (in that order) to try and secure the second point against Pittsburgh. Is that the best possible shootout lineup? You might not think so, but according to conversion rates in the shootout, it is.
Here’s the trio’s efficiency in the shootout over their careers:
Eberle 25/70 = 35.7%
Barzal 6/19 = 31.6%
Bailey 10/31 = 32.3%
Here’s how the rest of the forward line stacks up :
Nelson 6/19 = 31.6%
Cizikas 1/3 = 33%
Clutterbuck 2/10 = 20%
Clearly, Trotz went with his best shootout lineup. I would imagine Brock Nelson would have been the fourth shooter if the team needed one.
The percentages for some of the Isles top shootout players look low but even some of the better players in the league sit at around 40%. Guys like Sidney Crosby and Elias Petterson sit at 40.2% and 38.9% respectively.
The fact that Anders Lee has four shootout attempts over his career and hasn’t converted on a single one doesn’t look great but consider the type of goal scorer Anders Lee is. You don’t expect him to stickhandle his way through four defenders and then pull off a gravity-defying deek to get the goal. He’s a power forward whose bread-and-butter is in front of the net.
I would imagine that the next time the Islanders find themselves in a shootout, Barry Trotz will alter who he sends out, slightly. Certainly, Eberle and Barzal will be out there, but perhaps Brock Nelson will be the third shooter.
Maybe by then, Anthony Beauvillier will be back and he can be the third shooter. Beau has two shootout goals in six attempts.
Maybe, and this is VERY hopeful, he’ll try Oliver “amazing hockey player” Wahlstrom who’s been scoring incredible shootout goals since he was nine.