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Moving forward

Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs spins and scores on Scott Clemmensen of
the New Jersey Devils during shoot out action Dec. 16, 2008. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via
Getty Images)

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Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs spins and scores on Scott Clemmensen of the New Jersey Devils during shoot out action Dec. 16, 2008. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

With Adam Proteau enjoying his last week of vacation, we take a team effort to this week’s mailbag. On to your questions:

Hey Adam, I was reading one of your fellow expert's columns the other day and was wondering why the NHL doesn't count shootout goals towards a player's individual stats? Wouldn't it make sense since this shootout format is designed to determine the outcome of a lot of games during the season and nothing that happens in it counts for anything other than an extra point in the standings? At the very least the winning shootout goal should count for the player who scored it. What do you think?
Thanks,
Kyle, Philadelphia


Kyle, I couldn’t agree with you more, but unfortunately the NHL doesn’t see it the same way we do.

That’s just one of a number of statistical inconsistencies when it comes to the shootout. If a goalie wins in a shootout, he is credited with a win, but not a loss if he is at the losing end. The loss to the team would not count as a loss for the purposes of an official losing streak, but counts as a win for a winning streak.

Teams that win the shootout are awarded one goal in the goals-for column in the standings, but players receive no credit for their work in the shootout.

At the very least, I think the NHL should give more attention to shootout stats by perhaps recognizing the best shooter and goaltender with season-ending awards each year. - KC

Hey Adam, I've heard rumors the Leafs may be bringing up Justin Pogge before the end of this year. I think this is a good idea to see how he does for the remainder of the season and see how he handles the NHL pressure. If he doesn't show at least flashes of future stardom, though, I would like to see the Leafs trade him. Other than the ‘06 WJC, where Pogge was brilliant, he hasn’t really done anything special at all. His American League numbers aren't great so why is he so hyped? What do you think?
Howie, Parry Sound, Ont.


Hi Howie. You're bang on the money about Pogge's AHL performance. I see about 20 Toronto Marlies games a year and I can tell you Pogge has yet to assert himself as a consistent pro puckstopper. He'll shine for stretches, but has troubling keeping it together over the long haul. Even within a single game he can be very up and down.

I thought it was very telling when Toronto opted to start Scott Clemmensen instead of Pogge in last year's AHL playoffs.

His great numbers at the 2006 world juniors, coupled with the fact he's a Maple Leafs prospect, combined to over-hype this kid a bit. I definitely think the Leafs should get him some more NHL time this season to get a handle on whether his potential as a big, positional goalie can still translate to big-league success. - RD

Hello! I've got a good one for you. Team A "scores" a goal, but the puck quickly came in/out of the net and was not whistled as a goal. Play continues. Team B rushes down ice and scores a goal. On review, it is found that Team A did, in fact, score. Does Team B's goal still stand? My theory is that Team B's goal does not count, because the play would have been over once Team A scored, but at the same time, it is not fair to not count the goal of Team B when it is no fault of their own.
Matt Livingstone, Ottawa


Hello! Your theory is correct, Team B’s tally wouldn’t count. As my mother always told me when I asked her why I wasn’t smarter or better looking: “Shut up and eat yer Brussels sprouts” …er, I mean… “Life ain’t fair.” - EF

Is David Krejci turning into a superstar?
Maxim Willwerth, Mass.


Hey Maxim. Superstar is such a strong word.

Let’s dub him a ‘budding star’ first. The great thing about Krejci is that he can do it all; and he’s still learning as a 22-year-old. He kills penalties, he goes on the power play and he’s a great playmaker. It seems no matter who coach Claude Julien puts him on a line with – whether it be Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, Marco Sturm, Chuck Kobasew or whoever – Krejci works well with them.

I’m still reticent to call the Bruins’ leading scorer and top playmaker Marc Savard a superstar, so I don’t think Krejci is there yet. The term superstar can be thrown around loosely; in my mind there are only a handful of players – maybe five, six or seven – who should be labeled as such. Will Krejci ever make it to that upper-echelon of the league’s elite? You can never say never, but Krejci first has to put up numbers like he has this year for a few more season’s to reach star status first and then continue to improve his game from there.

Thanks for writing. - RB

In the Dec. 16, 2008 game between New Jersey and Toronto, Jason Blake scored a shootout goal after doing a spin-o-rama. I thought the puck had to constantly be going towards the net to be a valid shot in the shootout. There was an issue like this earlier in the season and the shot was disallowed. What gives?
Andrew Vehlies, Albany, N.Y.


Andrew, not sure which disallowed goal you’re referring to, but Rule 25.2 of the NHL Official Rules states: “The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360-degree turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion.”

However, rule 78.5 (v) states a goal is disallowed, “When an attacking player interfered with a goalkeeper in his goal crease.” Another example is laid-out in rule 78.5 (ix): “When a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a save.”

The issue from earlier this season was most likely one of the above disallowed goals, or a case of the shooter stopping his forward motion enough – in the referee’s eyes – during his spin to warrant a “no goal” call. - JG
 
Hi there. The Habs just banked their 3000th regular season win in the NHL earlier this season. I was curious about the total wins in history of the other Original Six teams... Do you have any information about that? Thanks and Happy New Year!
Rémi Bourget, Montreal


Hi Rémi, well wishes in 2009 to you, too. Not surprisingly, the Canadiens lead the way in wins with 3004 after Thursday night’s 6-2 drubbing of the Leafs. The other five have: Boston – 2699; Toronto – 2551; Detroit – 2548; New York – 2383; and Chicago - 2295.

And in case you were wondering, all-time losses go as such: Toronto – 2445; Chicago – 2436; New York – 2359; Detroit – 2193; Boston – 2111; and Montreal – 1934. - EF

I have noticed on just a few occasions this season that a couple home teams have worn white jerseys, when I thought all home teams wore dark. Who makes the call on which team wears dark and who wears white jerseys?
Paul Hamilton, White Fox, Sask.


Paul; You're right, home teams almost always wear the dark uniforms these days, but on some occasions a request will be made for the squads to switch.

This is usually done if a home team wants to show off a new jersey to its fans - Dallas wears a white third jersey, for example, and ordinarily wouldn't get to wear it at home.

The NHL usually approves these temporary switcheroos as long as the other team doesn't mind, which they never do. - RK

Ask Adam appears Fridays only on TheHockeyNews.com. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.

Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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