In the 2012-13 season, shootouts were the bane of the Toronto Maple Leafs existence. Not one out of five shootouts were won by the Leafs last season. In fact, Tyler Bozak was the only Leaf to score in the shootout.
This why it’s so surprising that the Leafs have changed so much in that category. They have taken part in 13 shootouts this season with record of 9-4 after last night’s win against the Buffalo Sabres. That is a big reason why they were able to hold on to a playoff spot for so long and why they’ve climbed back into one.
Last night the Leafs went 3-for-3 in the shootout with James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul and Bozak scoring against the Sabres’ Ryan Miller. It’s those three players who have been the biggest part of the their shootout success this year.
Sure, there is a slight problem that the Leafs are going to too many shootouts, giving other teams a single point. While the Leafs get the extra point, giving teams in the Eastern Conference a free point could come back to bite the Leafs. The Leafs need to start winning in regulation.
But who is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ best shootout player? Is it Bozak, who continues to be good at it two seasons in a row? Is it Lupul, who seems to be one of the best Leafs in the clutch moments? Or is it JVR, who seems to score in every single Leafs shootout?
Let’s find out what you think.