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Tuesday's notes: Are shootouts more common as the playoffs approach?

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Our morning hockey notes kick off with an observation from Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, as quoted by Mike Organ of the Tennessean:

It's the time of the year, Coach Barry Trotz said, when shootouts become more commonplace in the NHL because most teams are playing at an elevated level.

"I'd like to know what the percentage of shootouts are in the last 20 or 30 games," Trotz said. "Teams tighten up; there's more one-goal games, more ties, more shootouts."

Well, coach, your hunch appears to be correct, at least based on how things shook out last season:

Month Shootouts Games Frequency
October 11 156 7.1%
November 22 201 10.9%
December 28 209 13.4%
January 24 184 13.0%
February 26 191 13.6%
March 33 218 15.1%
April 6 71 8.5%

I wouldn't read too much into that April number, considering how few games take place that month, and that you have many teams at that point who are either cruising to the playoffs or just playing out the string. It's not like there's a huge spike in shootouts during the latter portion of the season, but maybe a handful more than normal. I'll have to take a look at the frequency of overtime games at some point, too.

And now, on to your morning hockey news...

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