A freak blizzard on December 21, 2007 which postponed the Flames and Avs game could potential turn into much more than a one day issue but instead a year ending disaster. With the Flames and Avs going to the wire, this could be one of the greatest finishes in NHL regular season history.
There is also the very real possibility that it could be, depending on how you look at it, one of the biggest black marks on the NHL since the Brett Hull crease incident, with one of their revolutionary rules once again taking centre stage. The infamous NHL shootout could very realistically come into play with both teams most likely playing a tight checking game waiting for the other to make a mistake.
Imagine this for a minute, 2-2 after 5 minutes of overtime, 60 minutes of regulation and more importantly 81 games of blood and sweat. How do we decide who plays for the Stanley Cup…lets have the circus known as a shoot out, or as many players have refer to it, a crap shoot. You know the Flames sure as hell wouldn’t want a shootout with their goalie showing himself to be less than stellar, but I can’t exactly see the Avs pushing for it either.
I understand the idea behind the shootout, creating suspense and excitement but do you see the NBA taking foul shots to win games, do you see quarterbacks throwing balls through tires. If we need to turn our game into a circus to catch the attention of the greater United Sates sporting audience I think we might have gone a little far. I was also one of the fans who left rinks frustrated after a tie game, feeling like your kid just walked into the bedroom and wanted to sleep with mom and dad while their were in the “middle of something”. I don’t see why a four on four cannot last 10 minutes or be turned into a three on three, its almost a guarantee you will see at least a couple of two on ones with players getting tired..
I know from a ‘hockey fans’ perspective this is something that is more exiting than a player being given a free breakaway, but than again why care about the fans already here. To me I think that the NHL might have seriously dropped the ball on this one, worrying more about the fans who they want to get while hurting the fans that are already here. These players will have more than a puck on their stick but the fate of their team mates, the management, thousands of fans, and millions of dollars in potential revenue, all in one shot. To me all that responsibility should be spread across 12-10 players on the ice, not two.
Don’t forget about us, the fans who are already here, because I know if I was a player or a fan of the Flames and Avs and lost in a shootout….well lets just say I would feel like our best player just up in left town or something leaving the team in shambles. It would be real tough to swallow.