Which team would be at the greatest advantage if one of the upcoming Olympics games goes to a shootout? Every nation is prepared with its own masters of this skills competition, but some teams have more weapons than others. It's a tight pack, but there are least a couple of teams with a definite advantage.
The shootout has already made its presence felt several times throughout history. For example, Sweden bested Canada in the 1994 gold-medal game, and then Dominik Hasek and the Czech Republic shocked Wayne Gretzky's dream team in a semifinal game in Nagano, 1998. It should probably have come as no surprise that North American leagues quickly added the shootout, so that their own stars could get some practice.
Relying perhaps too heavily on career NHL data, we've identified the key shootout artists on each Olympic team and how they've done against the best goalies in the world. Together with each team's goaltending, we have estimated how well they will likely perform should 70 minutes of hockey fail to resolve one of their upcoming contests.
Have North America's teams finally caught up? After a quick review of the non-contenders, we've ranked each national team by the success differential between their own top three shooters and their starting goaltender. It's close, but the Europeans have finally been knocked off the top spot.
All shootout statistics are via NHL.com unless otherwise noted.