The 2012 Alternative NHL Awards: Most Shots Off The Iron

RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 23: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes reacts after hitting the post during a shootout against the Anaheim Ducks at the RBC Center on February 23, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Anaheim won 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Our 2012 Alternative NHL Awards series continues with a look at those players who most often came "oh so close" to scoring a goal...

Nothing highlights the hard luck of a goal scorer more than ringing a shot off the goalpost or crossbar, especially when you're already squeezing the stick tight enough to squeeze sawdust out of it. OK, it's not like anybody uses wood any more, but you get the idea.

Of course, to a goalie's ears, the ringing of iron is usually the sweetest music they'll hear during a game. But the following skaters have a different story to tell...

This season, Carolina's Eric Staal was the NHL's "Lord of the Pings", ringing 17 shots off the iron. Did that play a role in Staal's lowest goal output since his rookie campaign of 2003-2004? Pittsburgh's James Neal (13) and Evgeni Malkin (11) followed up as leading puck-clangers.

Of special note were the foursome of John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Patrik Berglund and Todd Bertuzzi, who each dinged two shots off the iron during the shootout. Even more frustrated were Teemu Selanne, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand, who each got robbed twice in overtime, when a goal would have won the game.

The following table lists your league-leading iron-clangers from this regular season:

Player Team Total
Eric Staal Carolina 17
James Neal Pittsburgh 13
Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh 11
John Tavares NY Islanders 10
Ryan Smyth Edmonton 10
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim 9
Teemu Selanne Anaheim 9
Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh 9
Evander Kane Winnipeg 9
David Krejci Boston 8
Alexander Edler Vancouver 8
Tyler Seguin Boston 8
Ryan O`Reilly Colorado 8
Henrik Zetterberg Detroit 8
Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit 8
Kyle Brodziak Minnesota 8
Zach Parise New Jersey 8
Craig Smith Nashville 8
Ryan Callahan NY Rangers 8
Colin Greening Ottawa 8
Milan Michalek Ottawa 8
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay 8

For previous years' editions of the Alternative NHL Awards, check out this series which dates back to 2008.

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