Henrik Zetterberg had to score. Boone Jenner had just beaten Jimmy Howard to give Columbus a 2-1 lead over the Red Wings in the shootout on Tuesday. Zetterberg was shooter No. 6.
He skated in, faked a slapshot and then tried to slide the puck between Sergei Bobrovsky’s legs. It would’ve been slick if it worked. It didn’t. Bobrovsky calmly pushed the puck away. The Red Wings fell to 1-6 in the shootout this season.
I know why he did it. Once upon a time Zetterberg was good in shootouts (or at least decent). Making a hard fake and sliding it five hole worked. But that was five years ago.
Tuesday was Zetterberg’s 55th career shootout attempt. Only Pavel Datsyuk has more in Red Wings history. But while Datsyuk converts on 43.5 percent of his attempts, Zetterberg is at 23.6 percent. Zetterberg is two for his last 24. He has two shootout goals in the past five years.
As a result he’s sitting out of more shootouts. But not all of them. Mike Babcock still throws Zetterberg out there from time to time and since he does, and since he does, we might as well figure out a way to have Zetteberg score a little more.
Zetterberg has scored 13 times but only 12 have gone in the net. On January 28, 2006, Zetterberg missed an attempt but was awarded automatic goal after Marty Turco threw his stick.
As for the other 12, there’s a clear discrepancy between what works and what doesn’t.