Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nathan MacKinnon is Now a Shootout Whiz



In his second full NHL season, former No. 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon is making himself useful in the skills competition. After going 0-3 in his rookie season, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native apparently got tired of getting sand kicked in his face by NHL netminders.

More: Bartkowski Gets Misconduct for Dirty Hit on Gionta, Could Face Discipline

MacKinnon, one of just three NHL players with more than two attempts to have made 100 percent of shootout attempts this season (Vermette, 3-3, Crosby, 3-3), is 4-4 on the year, and he displayed his newfound skillllzzzz!!! against Detroit's Petr Mrazek on Sunday (see video above).

It's a pretty tasty move (or should we say series of moves, jukes, dekes and dives?), and it is further proof that the best shootout players are the ones who completely rearrange the time-space continuum on ice, taking their time and embracing trick-stick wizardry as a sort of goalie hypnotizer before delicately depositing puck into the twine while the goalie's eyes are closed and his head is spinning.

If you're curious, here are the top 8 shootout players, in terms of percentage, since the tiebreaker was adopted in 2005 (20 or more attempts).