For someone who is so good at it, Calgary Flames forward Alex Tanguay doesn't think too highly of the shootout. Tanguay would rather see the NHL go to three points for a win, so that a regulation victory counts for more than one earned in extra time. But assuming the shootout is here to stay because the commissioner wants it that way, Tanguay would prefer to see five shooters involved instead of three because, currently, the team that scores first almost always emerges victorious. The irony, for anyone following the Flames' fortunes of late, is that shootout success is the primary reason they're entertaining any faint playoff hopes. Calgary has nine shootout victories, including last Saturday's 5-4 come-from-behind win over the trash-talking Edmonton Oilers that kept the Flames mathematically in the playoff picture – for a few days more anyway. (According to captain Jarome Iginla and defenceman Robyn Regehr, several Oilers players wished them well on their summer vacations when Edmonton was up 4-1.) That night, Tanguay scored the decisive shootout goal – his 10th of the season – tying the single-season record established by Jussi Jokinen in 2005-06, and matched by Wojtek Wolski three years later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Flames have won seven of the 10 shootouts in which Tanguay has scored. "I've had 16 shots," Tanguay said. "That's crazy. That's almost one-quarter of our games. That's why I feel, if they gave three points for a regulation win and two for overtime, I think some games would be played differently in the later stages." Because shootout victories don't count in the first tiebreaker (most wins), every team in the Western Conference playoff chase has the edge over the Flames should they wind up tied in points – just one more hurdle Calgary will need to overcome to qualify.
Tanguay proves lucky charm for Flames' shootout hopes
The Globe and Mail | Mar 29