The Senators are now 0-3 in shootouts, leading to another issue where Cory Clouston and left winger Jarkko Ruutu don’t see eye-to-eye.
This time, it’s about the value of practicing the penalty shot competition to end games.
Clouston doesn’t buy a practice-makes-perfect philosophy. “To me, practicing is only a small, small part of it,” said Clouston, who used to chart practice success and found it didn’t translate into real game success. “It’s like golf. A guy can sink a five-foot (putt), but in front of cameras and in front of 15,000 people, he might make that one out 10 times. Just because you can score in practice, it’s a different thing with 20,000 people watching and the game on the line. To me, it’s a lot about pressure and poise and confidence.”
Ruutu, however, says “you have to practice it, like anything else.”
The Senators agitator says shootout success is “underrated” and often makes a huge difference where a team ends up in the standings.
He should know. While Ruutu has not been used in the shootout this season and only once last year for Clouston, his career success rate of 44.4 per cent (8-for-18) is better than all other Senators, including Alex Kovalev (38.4 per cent), Jason Spezza (34.4 per cent), Mike Fisher (31.6 per cent) and Daniel Alfredsson (30.56 per cent).