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.
2011-12 season - Roman Polak, St. Louis Blues
No big surprise that it was a Blue winning this award last season. Goal-scoring isn 't exactly the top priority under Ken Hitchock. More than that, Polak is a defensive defenceman, so it's not a top priority for him either, but he took 86 shots last season without scoring once.
2010-11 season - Barrett Jackman, St. Louis Blues & Anton Volchenkov, New Jersey Devils
That's right, a Blues' defenceman won this thing two years in a row. Before Polak, it was Barrett Jackman, who has potted 20 career NHL goals but never more than 4 in a season, and none in 2010-11 despite 65 shots on goal. But to add insult to injury, he has to share the award with Anton Volchenkov, who did the same in his first season as a Devil.
2009-10 season - Craig Adams, Pittsburgh Penguins
Poor Craig Adams played all 82 games for the Penguins in his first full season in Pittsburgj and he took 84 shots without scoring once. Thankfully, he'd finally get his first NHL goal 8 games into his second go-round. He has 9 since and doesn't look to be the sort of Penguin to win this award anymore.
2008-09 season - Robyn Regehr, Calgary Flames
Like many of the guys to grace this list, Regehr is a defenceman known more for his goal prevention than his goal-scoring. In his luckiest post-lockout season, 2005-06, he took 89 shots and notched 6 goals. In his unluckiest, this one, he took 79 shots and didn't score once.
2007-08 season - Radek Martinek, New York Islanders
Why is this photo so dark? Are there lights in Nassau Coliseum? Anyway, Martinek took 98 shots in 07-08 without scoring, which makes the fact that he scored a goal during last year's 7-game stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets sort of impressive, no?
2006-07 season - Stephane Robidas, Dallas Stars
Thing is, Robidas can score. He's got a 10-goal season under his belt, a 9-goal season, and 6 total seasons with 5 or more. But he couldn't score in 06-07, despite taking 106 shots on goal, the most of any goalless player, post-lockout.
2005-06 season - Matt Walker, St. Louis Blues & Danny Markov, Detroit Red Wings
Another tie. Really, the only thing more unlucky than winning this award is somehow having to share it. Walker and Markov both put 59 pucks on net in 05-06 without scoring.
2004-05 season - No winner due to lockout
2003-04 season - Glen Wesley, Carolina Hurricanes
Wesley was a decent goal-scorer early in his career. His second season in the NHL, he finished one tally shy of a 20-goal season. But in his later years, the goal-scoring dried up. In 03-04, he had 82 shots without scoring. His luck would turn around the next year, however, as he scored twice, and also he won his first Stanley Cup on his third and final Cup Final appearance.
2002-03 season - Robyn Regehr, Calgary Flames
That's right. Robyn Regehr may be the only NHLer in history to have won this award twice. He's a special player. Regehr's 02-03 season was crazy unlucky. He fired 109 shots on goal -- more than he's registered in any other season, and more than any other goalless player this millennium -- but he couldn't score.
2001-02 season - Bill Muckalt, Ottawa Senators
Most people forget that Muckalt was part of the package that went to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Alexei Yashing, largely because the other parts of the package were Zdeno Chara and the 1st round pick that became Jason Spezza. But it's also easy to forget Muckalt's time in Ottawa because it was forgettable. In his lone season in Canada's capital, he played 70 games, took 73 shots, and didn't score once.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney