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BTB BLOG: WHEN A SHUTOUT DOESN'T EARN A WIN

by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for Sabres.com. He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.


 
Here's a question that will make your head spin if you start thinking about it hard enough.  

Can a goaltender lose when he posts a shutout?

The answer is yes ... in a manner of speaking.  He can't really outright lose, but he isn't guaranteed a win either.

Don't believe me?  Ask Boston's Alex Auld.  

Auld turned away all 35 shots the New York Rangers fired on him in Sunday's contest at Madison Square Garden.  Only one problem for Auld; Henrik Lundqvist didn't allow a goal either.  The 0-0 game went to a shootout where New York's Nigel Dawes scored the deciding goal.

After 65 scoreless minutes in Boston's cage, Auld got saddled with a shootout loss for his troubles.  

Doesn't seem right, does it?  But here's the reason both Auld and Lundqvist were credited with shutouts even though one goalie won and the other "lost."

Shootout goals do not count as individual goals, and therefore, aren't credited to the individual players who score them.  They are termed "team goals."  Along those same lines of thought, shootout goals don't count against a goaltender's goals against totals.

If Thomas Vanek scores in a shootout on Philadelphia's Martin Biron, his goal total for the season doesn't increase and neither does Biron's goals against total.  The goal only counts in that specific shootout.

Statistically speaking, shootout goals only exist in the terms of shootouts.  

[By the way, there's a bird flying around inside HSBC Arena right now.  Does anyone have the number for pest control?]
 
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