Shootouts. Some love them, some hate them. Mostly, people hate them. Should the NHL keep them as a way to determine tie games when no one scores in overtime? I don’t think so. I will admit, they are very entertaining to watch. However, they should be kept for a skills type competition, like the All Star Game. I’m not talking the one on one of a penalty shot, they are rarely ever awarded. I’m talking about after a long, hard fought game on both sides, it ends up being a shoot out to determine the winner of the game.
Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks lost in an overtime shootout three to two to the Phoenix Coyotes, snapping seven game win streak. Some may cry that it’s not fair, but in hockey, little is fair. I am one of those people who think that it is completely unfair. Why is it unfair? I’ll tell you why.
It’s not fair to rest the fate of the whole team, the entire game, on a single person’s shoulders. Good, hard fought offense and defense, goaltending, blood and sweat, all comes down to a single person making a single shot. Okay, so both teams get three tries. It still ends up with the fate of one, like with the Blackhawks game tonight.
What’s wrong with the shootout? It’s simply a novelty, and nothing more than that. Though the overtime shootout is to determine the winning team, it does not count for the player individually. The shootout is the equivalent of deciding a baseball game with a home run contest or breaking a football tie by having quarterbacks throw the ball through a tire. The winning team in the shootout gets one goal added to its season total. The losing team has one goal-against added to its season total. This holds regardless of how many goals are scored during the shootout itself.
The shootout is not used in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If it’s not good enough for Lord Stanley, then why is it good enough for our individual games?
Shootouts are a joke. They are fun to watch. I’ll tune into the All-Star game next year to see the competition. The NHL should do away with shootouts and keep going into sessions of sudden death overtime.