May 28, 2013

Penalty Shots In Stanley Cup History

The terrific Western Conference semi-final game between Chicago and Detroit featured a penalty shot goal by the Hawks' Michael Frolik. By doing so Frolik made Stanley Cup history.

Frolik became the first player in NHL history to score two playoffs goals on penalty shots en route to Chicago's 4-3 win. He also turned the trick in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference quarter-finals.

Other players to have more than one penalty shot attempt in the playoffs include Petr Klima (1 for 2) and Mats Sundin (1 for 2). Sundin's two penalty shots came in the span of one week during the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs.

There have been 61 penalty shots in Stanley Cup playoff history. 20 have been successful. That's a 67% success rate for the goalies.

Names included in the successful shooter category include Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Eric Lindros and Joe Sakic. The most surprising names on the successful list has to Basil McRae.

The goalie to face the most penalty shot situations was Dominik Hasek. He had 4 while with Buffalo and one with Detroit. Toronto's Mats Sundin was the only shooter to score on The Dominator. Eric Desjardins, Mark Recchi, Martin Straka and Todd Bertuzzi were all denied.

Edmonton's Grant Fuhr stopped two penalty shots in the span of three days, and in the Stanley Cup Final to boot! On May 28th, 1985 he stopped Philadelphia's Ron Sutter. Two days later he also stopped Dave Poulin.

The last successful player to score in a playoff penalty shot - Michael Frolik against Cory Schneider back on April 24th, 2011.

Chris Pronger (June 5th, 2006 against Carolina's Cam Ward) is the only player to score a penalty shot goal in the Stanley Cup Final.

Twice a penalty shot was awarded while in sudden death overtime, but the goalies came up big on both occasions. On April 24th, 1996 Pittsburgh's Ken Wregget stopped Washington's Joe Juneau. on April 23rd, 1998 Montreal's Andy Moog stopped Pittsburgh's Alexei Morozov.

Lionel Conacher of the 1937 Montreal Maroons is generally regarded as the first player in NHL playoffs history to have been awarded a penalty shot. Boston's Tiny Thompson stopped him on March 25th, 1937.

However the first penalty shot awarded in Stanley Cup history goes all the way back to 1922, when Babe Dye of Toronto (representing the National Hockey League) was stopped by Hugh Lehman of Vancouver (representing the Pacific Coast Hockey Association).

On April 9th, 1968 Minnesota's Wayne Connelly became the first player in Stanley Cup playoffs history to actually score on a penalty shot, Los Angeles' Terry Sawchuk. It was the first goal in nine attempts.

Courtesy of the NHL Guide And Record Book, here's a complete look at the history of the penalty shot in Stanley Cup playoffs history (excluding last night's goal by Frolik):


Jake said...

One error: As I recall, Morozov's overtime penalty shot hit the post. It was not stopped by Moog.

Anonymous said...

Actually I believe that there had been three penalty shots awarded in overtime during the playoffs.

There was one awarded to I believe an LA player and the goaltender was Sean Burke and Don Koharski was the referee who awarded it.