Shootouts in the NHL


Cody Hodgson scores game winning goal in the shootout against the Oilers (01/24/12); Photo Source: Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

I want to discuss an important matter with you. It’s not about some parallel alternate universe where your redheaded doppelganger is a complete bitch than you (I’m pretty sure she’s even nastier than you in the bedroom too (HEYOO I TOTALLY WENT THERE!!!)). No, I’m not here today to discuss my theories about season four of Fringe with you. Perhaps, I’ll save that for another time. This is an issue of pressing concern. I’m not the biggest fan of shootouts in the “new” NHL (can we stop calling it the “new NHL” too?).

That’s not true. I absolutely fucking hate them. Seriously.

I understand that the NHL wants a tiebreaker so teams are awarded points to advance to the Playoffs. I agree but I don’t think its in the spirit of hockey. Ice hockey is a team sport. There is no “i” in team. It’s one-on-one. Just you and the goalie. No team effort whatsoever. It’s like playing the best of three rock-paper-scissors with your buddy over the last can in the six pack of Molson. In my honest (and albeit blatant) opinion this is a deal breaker for hockey fans.

I think the NHL needs to implement new tie-breaking regulations. However, I’m pretty certain that Commissioner Bettman will disagree with me here. I really enjoy endless overtime like in the playoffs. It doesn’t need to be 5-on-5, 4-on-4 works for me too. Just gives players that extra skating room. And? Players get to work with their linemates to put pucks in the net!

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Different opinion?

Salo, Hamhuis make a Higgins sandwich after he scores OT goal against Senators. 11/21/2011 Photo Credit: Stuart Davis, PNG

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9 thoughts on “Shootouts in the NHL

  1. Shootouts suck, but they’re big in the international hockey community. In his book, Patriot Hearts, Furlong talks about how the olympic bosses were praying for the gold medal game to go to shootout.

    • The “New NHL” is something Commissioner Bettman and the league has thrown into the media. New rules, new season structure, etc. But all this “new” stuff has been implemented years earlier.

  2. Not really practical for endless overtime. Put to one side Bettmans love affair with TV rights and scheduling and consider the teams. Can we expect players to go through possibly an another hour of play 20 times a year? increasing risk of injury, fatigue, depression? What about teams travel arrangements too? endless overtime is fine when you don’t have a plane to catch after the game but what if you do?
    Do agree tho shootouts aren’t great. Often can be boring with only one actually being scoring. Also international audiences understand tie games. How many soccer games end in a tie in Europe?
    In tournaments and post season though it iS different. There needs to be a winner there and shootouts can be related to by virtual everyone especially Olympic audiences. So unless you want a tie game think your stuck with the shootout

    • I think a lot of it has to do with the current NHL scheduling too. They put games too close together. Having an eighty game schedule is ridiculous. Not to mention for example the Vancouver Canucks could be playing a game Tuesday in Vancouver and the next they could be in Florida playing the Panthers. That takes a lot out of professional hockey players.

  3. I agree with you Anth. Maybe we’re traditionalists. I’m not a fan of the regular season shootouts either though I have to admit sometimes they do produce a mild thrill. I’m okay with the 5-minute OT, but I’ve always said to my friends, “what’s wrong with a tie in hockey?”

    As for the “new NHL”, marketing is as marketing does and stateside, the NHL trails dog & pony awards shows on the telly.

    Considering the 4-on-4 OT play, I can’t help but think how much faster the NHL game would be if the league moved to larger ice surfaces similar to those we see in international hockey play (but not the exact same dimensions necessarily). I’m guessing there’d be less injuries too, namely concussions, but that’s a guess.

    I know that’s highly unlikely due to the expense. The league had its chance to go that way back in the early 1990s when many clubs were building or planning to build new rinks but it never happened.

    Despite it all, I say enjoy this season & coming playoffs because I expect a lockout/strike for next season. The NHLPA has payback in mind I’m sure after losing the last bout. With Donald Fehr at the NHLPA’s helm, methinks it’s Count Bettman that goes for the high jump this time & I wouldn’t be sad to see it happen.

  4. uhm shootouts are amazing it gives people a chance to shine for a change instead of the 1o million dollar players EXP: Hodgson, Edler, Ryan

    i saw if it aint broke dont fix it

  5. Pingback: My 2012 in review | The Anth Zone

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