So it’s been 5 years since the terrible lockout. Since that ridiculous hiatus, we’ve been treated to a “new” NHL. There was an emphasis on calling penalties tighter, a goalie trapezoid behind the net, and of course, the shootout. Right away, I hated the idea of a shootout. I think it’s one of the worst ways to decide a hockey game. I’d much rather see a tie than a stupid skills competition. Not only that, but it takes away from the luster of a penalty shot. PS’s are pretty rare, which makes them exciting.
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Anyway, as someone who HATES the shootout, I’m glad to see it losing some of it’s power. ESPN reports that in the event of a tie in the standings, the first tiebreaker (wins) will not take shootouts into account. Only regulation and overtime wins will figure into the formula. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. I know, as a Flyers fan, that we got into the playoffs thanks to a shootout. I don’t care, I still hate it. I don’t want lesser talented teams killing time in OT just to get a chance in the shootout. It’s boring and counterproductive.
The Phoenix Coyotes, a team that surprised EVERYONE last season, won 14 games in the shootout last season. The Flyers won 4, the Rangers won 3 (suckers). It’s a BS way to settle things in hockey. It works in soccer because the flow of the game is just different, sometimes teams can really go forever without scoring. And during regular season matches, in soccer, they do have ties. I’m all in favor of bringing that back in hockey. What’s wrong with a team coming back from a few goals down to knot things in the end and earn a point.
I think it’d be best for the league to drop the shootout completely. Leave it as a novelty item for the all star game or skill contest. In addition, re-work the points system to entice teams to go for a win both in regulation and OT.
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