After Barry Trotz's first press conference after the opening game, images of...
No Flair for Fehr, Just Shootout Goals
Eric Fehr (Caps Outsider)
Eric Fehr has had quite the roller coaster of a season so far. He has played every offensive position, on every offensive line, been a healthy scratch countless times, but now he’s the Caps go-to guy in the shootout. Since reentering the lineup on November 22nd, after being a healthy scratch for eight straight games, Fehr and the Caps have taken part in five shootouts in which Fehr has been the first shooter. In three career attempts, he had never hit the back of the net, but in a very close game with the Maple Leafs, which Alex Ovechkin had tied up with only minutes remaining and help send into a shootout, Adam Oates decided to put out Fehr as the first shooter. This may have seemed odd with guys like Mikail Grabovski, Nicklas Backstrom, and Ovi in the lineup, but Oates seemed confident in his choice and it paid off as Fehr snuck it through James Reimer’s five-hole to give the Caps a 1-0 advantage in the shootout.
The next shootout came only two games later when the Caps took on Montreal Canadiens. Once again, Fehr was the leadoff shooter and once again it paid off has he shot a rocket high glove side on Peter Budaj to give the Caps the 1-0 lead.
The Caps were able to finish without a shootout for four straight games until Ovechkin put on a show, scoring four goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in what was an outstanding individual effort to help the Caps into the shootout. For the third consecutive time, Fehr was the leadoff shooter. He skated slowly to the right and carved in towards Bishop and sniped it right in, helping the Caps to a 3-2 shootout win with a final score of 6-5.
There would be two consecutive shootouts the next two games where Fehr would again hit the back of the net for the Caps.
The question that comes up, however, is why is Fehr all of a sudden scoring in these one-on-one situations. You could say he has gotten more accurate over the years, and you could also make the argument that he’s taking more time with his attempts, not over thinking his shot as you can see here in his previous attempt, and maybe even getting a bit more lucky.
Whatever it is he’s doing, he’s doing it right, as he’s scored in all five shootout attempts he’s taken this season. Hopefully, with the rate the Caps games enter shootouts, Fehrsie can keep it up.