Shot down by shootouts

GARY LOEWEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

Maple Leafs fans have fingered myriad culprits for the team's struggles this season, from ownership on down.

They also could blame the "new NHL" for instituting the shootout. In the old NHL, if the game was tied after overtime, the teams split the two points and went home.

This season, the shootout has put an extra 138 points on the table, entering play last night. The Leafs have grabbed just three of those points, going 3-7 in shootouts.

The teams they're chasing for a playoff spot have done substantially better: New Jersey has nine shootout wins, Tampa Bay six and Atlanta five.

Take away the shootout and the Leafs would be in the thick of the playoff race with 77 points, just three away from eighth place.

In the Western Conference, Edmonton would be out of the playoffs without the extra seven points it gained with the shootout. Vancouver would become the eighth seed. Dallas' 11 bonus points has it sitting nine points ahead of Calgary for the second seed. Without them, the Stars would be just a point ahead of the Flames.

Here is how the NHL's standings would look heading into last night's games:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

TEAM ACTUAL POINTS WITHOUT SHOOTOUT SO PTS GAINED SHOOTOUT RECORD OT RECORD

Ottawa 108 106 +2 2-6 1-2

Carolina 106 99 +7 7-2 4-4

Buffalo 100 95 +5 5-5 6-1

N.Y. Rangers 98 91 +7 7-4 3-8

Philadelphia 93 89 +4 4-6 7-5

Montreal 89 87 +2 2-3 4-3

Tampa Bay 87 81 +6 6-3 5-2

New Jersey 89 80 +9 9-4 3-5

TORONTO 80 77 +3 3-7 5-1

Atlanta 81 76 +5 5-5 5-3

Florida 77 73 +4 4-4 6-5

Boston 71 69 +2 2-8 4-5

N.Y. Islanders 71 63 +8 8-3 3-2

Washington 62 56 +6 6-6 1-6

Pittsburgh 51 50 +1 1-5 4-8

WESTERN CONFERENCE

TEAM ACTUAL POINTS WITHOUT SHOOTOUT SO PTS GAINED SHOOTOUT RECORD OT RECORD

Detroit 112 109 +3 3-3 3-5

Dallas 105 94 +11 11-1 2-4

Calgary 95 93 +2 2-6 2-3

Nashville 96 91 +5 5-3 3-5

Anaheim 92 89 +3 3-7 3-5

San Jose 89 88 +1 1-7 8-4

Colorado 90 87 +3 3-6 3-2

Vancouver 87 83 +4 4-4 2-3

Edmonton 89 82 +7 7-9 5-4

Los Angeles 85 80 +5 5-1 4-4

Minnesota 79 74 +5 5-3 1-4

Phoenix 76 72 +4 4-2 6-2

Columbus 67 59 +8 8-2 5-1

Chicago 59 57 +2 2-5 6-6

St. Louis 54 50 +4 4-8 3-6

(DIVISION LEADERS AREN'T SEEDED FOR CHART PURPOSES)


Videos

Photos