In 2011-2012, almost 15 percent of all NHL games were decided by the shootout, accounting for 181 extra points in the league standings. The Islanders, who went 7-4 in shootouts last season, bolstered their already-strong shootout effort by signing Brad Boyes to a 1-year contract.
In his prime, Boyes was a formidable offensive threat, scoring 43 goals and 65 points with St. Louis in 2007-2008, and 33 goals and 72 points in 2008-2009. Last season in Buffalo, however, Boyes posted career lows with just eight goals and 23 points in 65 games.
Even with a simultaneous decline in Boyes’ shootout percentage from previous seasons, the shootout specialist converted five of his twelve attempts. His 41.7 shootout percentage was well above the league average of 33.83 percent. His career shootout percentage is 46.7 percent.
Last season, the Islanders converted 42.4 percent of their shootout attempts, which ranked seventh in the 30-team league. The load, however, was carried by Frans Nielsen, whose signature forehand-backhand move beat goaltenders on seven of 11 attempts, or 63.6 percent. No other Islander scored more than twice in the shootout; Matt Moulson converted two of his four attempts and Josh Bailey went one for one.
With Boyes joining Nielsen and perhaps Moulson (46.2 percent career), the Islanders could boast one of the most lethal shootout lineups in the league. For a team that needs every point it can get to compete in the Atlantic Division, Boyes’ presence in the shootout alone should provide an edge.