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I’ve referred to the NHL shootout as many, many things over the years. Those descriptions usually involve curse words and/or some sarcastic comment.

I think it’s a stupid way to decide a professional competition. And yes, even worse than a tie. Putting the same amount of points on the line in a one-on-one between a skater and goaltender as are at stake in a team-oriented battle for 60-plus minutes is something only Gary Bettman would do, and something only meatball fans would love.

Is it exciting? Not really. Does it matter what I think? Like most of the time in my life, the answer is no.

Bottom line, no matter how much we hate it, the shootout affects the standings. The Blackhawks have already gone to six shootouts by mid-December after going to 11 all of last season.

With it being an off day, let’s take a look at some of shootout numbers for the current Blackhawks and the goaltenders, just so you have some reference the next time we need to suffer through one of these things.

The Goaltenders

Given Corey Crawford has been shaky and Ray Emery has taken his spot the last four games, we’re not sure who will be starting each contest, let alone finishing it. But as Emery proved against Phoenix, Crawford seems to be better suited to be in net during the pissing contest.

Crawford has won his last three shootouts (vs. NYI on Dec. 2, FLA on Nov. 3, ANA on Oct. 25) after losing to Boston on Oct. 15 and Colorado on Oct. 22. He’s saved 8 of 9 attempts in those three victories and has stopped 14 of 17 attempts on the season.

For his career, Crawford is 7-6 and has saved 77.8 percent of attempts against him.

Emery, on the other hand, hasn’t fared so well. He got beat bad against Phoenix, though that was his first stab at a shootout since beating St. Louis on Nov. 7, 2009, while playing for Philadelphia.

Emery is 4-11 in his career in the wet t-shirt contest, and he’s saved only 42 percent (21 of 50) of attempts against him over that time. Kinda poopy.

Basically, if the ‘Hawks get to the shootout, we should hope for Crawford in net to give the ‘Hawks the best chance of coming away with the extra point.

The Shooters: Jonathan Toews

Best to start with the Captain here. Not just because he shoots first, but because it’ll help for some optimism.

Though Toews has gotten off to a rough start in the fart-smelling contest – he’s 2 for 6 on the season – history leads me to believe that won’t continue.

Toews ranks 6th all-time in shootout percentage, converting on 21 of his 43 attempts (48.8 percent) over his career. In case you were wondering Slava Kozlov still holds the best percentage, converting 27 of 46 (58.7 percent).

Patrick Kane

Kaner is the next best ‘Hawk in the shootout with a 40.4 percentage (19 for 47) in his career. He’s 2 for 4 this season, with both conversations coming as winners to beat Anaheim and Florida.

Marian Hossa

For as gifted a scorer as Hossa has been throughout his career, he’s living proof the moves and creativity able to be used during gameplay don’t always transfer over to the water pistol fight.

Hossa has converted only 14 of 42 of his attempts, good for a mere 33.3 percent over his career. By comparison, Kris Letang – a defenseman – has a better shootout percentage than Hossa (36.4).

He’s 0 for 2 this season.

While those three have been consistently used in the shootout over the past couple seasons, Coach Q hasn’t quite decided on his lineup this year. Viktor Stalberg, Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp have all taken cracks, going a combined 0 for 4, with Bolland having multiple attempts.

Now you’ve got a bit of a reference point the next time the ‘Hawks reach the pimple-popping contest.

Next up is Wednesday’s showdown with NHL-leading Minnesota Wild, and we’ll have your preview and Boxing for that one. Boom.

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