For the Devils, Shootouts Become a No-Win Mind Game

The New York Times:

The Devils have a case of the yips. Not your garden variety, as with a golfer losing his putting touch. This one runs through the whole team and has been going on all season.

The Devils have lost all 11 shootouts they had been in this season and an N.H.L.-record 15 consecutive over all since March 15, 2013.

“Never have I seen anything like this,” said Paul Dennis, a professor of sports psychology at York University in Toronto and formerly the Maple Leafs’ mental skills coach for 20 years. He called the Devils’ futility a debilitating “emotional contagion.”

Saul L. Miller, a sports psychologist in Vancouver, British Columbia, who has worked with N.H.L. players and teams for about 25 years, called it bizarre.

“And the New Jersey Devils are not a bad team — they have some skill guys,” he said.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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