After competing for a period of time that is about 3.5 hours from preskate through the end of regulation and OT, NHL players are forced to participate in something that is as far from hockey to decide which teams wins. Hockey is the ultimate team sport requiring 6 players on the ice to perform as one to win a game or score a goal. However, the shootout is nothing more than a manufactured instant drama that is designed for people that do not understand the game of hockey - something the typical ESPN fan can watch on highlights in 30 seconds. I am really tired watching a game for hours only to watch this manufactured ending "decide" the winner. This is analogous to an NBA game coming down to a free throw contest, a baseball game ending with a home run derby, or an NFL game ending with field goal contest. Let me be very blunt here. I hate the shootout intensely!! So instead of just venting about it, I have an alternative suggestion for establishing a winning game after a tie.
My idea will establish a winner and allow the teams to play hockey until the game is decided. I am taking a page from the NCAA college football OT plan. At the end of regulation the game is a tie. There is no OT period. No 4 on 4.
Start a 2 minute powerplay with the faceoff in the offensive zone. It will be 5 on 4 with goalies at each end. The 2 minutes count down just like the game. As the powerplay ends the horn blows and the other team begins their powerplay. The score after the two 2 minutes powerplays establishes the winner. You can score as many goals as possible, the other team can score a shorthanded goal. Faceoffs after goals go to center ice. After the first rotation. Go to a 5 on 3 session for each team. Teams are forced to change players, more than 3 or worse yet 2 players decide the game.
This is at least hockey. Not just a glorified skills competition. Watching teams "turtle" in 4 on 4 to get to a shooutout is worse than watching the trap! The Rangers have done this for the past 2 seasons knowing that they had shootout friendly players. This plan allows defensive players to contribute to the outcome of the game. It lets goalies play goalie and watch a team compete to the end.
I would love to hear comments on this.