Three of the NHL's most notable goalless players are finally on the board, as Shea Weber, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Drew Stafford all scored their first of the season this weekend.
All three were featured a little over a week ago on our list of the 10 most surprising players yet to score through the season's 10-game mark, and they joined Phil Kessel, Alex Steen, Dion Phaneuf, and Niklas Kronwall as players that have lit the lamp since making an appearance on that ignominious countdown. In fact, those 7 players have combined for 12 goals since then. (You're welcome, fans of those teams.)
Only three remain goalless: Ryan Suter, Drew Doughty, and Ryane Clowe, who have 22, 25, and 32 shots on goal, respectively.
With 32 shots, Clowe is actually the leading candidate to win this year's Gilles Marotte Trophy, an accolade I recently made up to honour the player that takes the most shots in a season without scoring. That's my spiffy, photoshopped award you're looking at.
You might be unfamiliar with Marotte, a defenceman that played 808 games for five NHL clubs between 1965 and 1977. His biggest claim to fame is probably being one of three players traded to Chicago when Boston acquired Phil Esposito in 1967, but that's not the only noteworthy thing Marotte did in 1967-68.
That season, he also set a little-known NHL record for most shots on goal without scoring, hitting the net 153 times in 73 games without seeing one go in. That's over 2 shots a game, and that's absurd.
Now, don't feel too bad for Marotte. His luck finally changed that year in the playoffs, where he suddenly went off, scoring 3 times in 11 games. Plus he just got this nifty award named in his honour!
Clowe probably won't win it. Not when you consider who he plays with, and not considering how often he shoots the puck. Put the on goal 100 times -- and Clowe is on pace to do just that, even in 48 games -- and one is bound to go in goal. In the last 10 seasons, only two players have reached 100 shots without scoring.
There's really no way of knowing who's going to take home this year's Gilles Marotte Award until the season is over, especially since it's based on luck (or at least the complete absence of it). But, as mentioned, we do know who would have won the last 10. So, to instil the Gilles Marotte with an immediate sense of history, let's go back and retroactively give them their awards.
Posted under NHL