As the clock struck 0:00 in overtime it was time for the Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant to make some tough decisions. Per NHL rules, when a game heads into the shootout, the home team is given the choice of shooting first or second.
Somebody told me we were 63% when we go first when Fleury’s in the net. So, I like 63 better than the other odds. Next game I might change it. But truthfully, over my career as a coach, I switch it up. It doesn’t matter to me. Some guys will want to go first all the time, I think most teams do, but I switch it up, I really do. -Gallant
Gallant reiterated that he doesn’t think it really matters, so he kind of just goes off his gut feeling for that night.
If you score there is (an advantage of going first). -Gallant
The Golden Knights have been in four shootouts this season and 11 in franchise history. They’ve gone first four times and won just one of them. They’ve gone second the other seven and have won five.
Four of them occurred at home, where Gallant is given the choice. He’s chosen to go first in three of the four, winning just one, while electing to go second once, which he also lost.
11/6/17 – @TOR – 2nd – Loss – Lagace
12/5/17 – ANA – 1st – Win – Subban
12/8/17 – @NSH – 2nd – Win – Subban
12/12/17 – CAR – 1st – Loss – Fleury
3/10/18 – @BUF – 2nd – Win – Fleury
3/24/18 @COL – 1st – Loss – Fleury
4/3/18 – @VAN – 2nd – Win – Subban
10/6/18 – @MIN – 2nd – Win – Fleury
10/24/ 18 – VAN – 2nd – Loss – Fleury
2/5/19 – @TBL – 2nd – Win – Fleury
2/20/19 – BOS – 1st – Loss – Fleury
(Have to assume the 63% Gallant is talking about is over the course of Fleury’s career. But who has time to look that up? Not me.)
Not sure exactly when this was published, but according to a study, going first or second in the shootout has not been statistically significant in the outcome. At the time of the study. 50.5% of teams that went second went on to win, hardly an advantage at all.
Last night Gallant went with Brandon Pirri, William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, and Oscar Lindberg as his six shooters.
I’ll let him explain the thought process on that one.