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Shootout Alternative

Posted 11:50 AM ET | Comments 7
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.
Filed Under:   NHL Flyers Shootout  
November 14, 2008 12:23 PM ET | Delete
Great idea!!! Send it in to the league. What happens if the PP team takes a penalty during their power play? What is the PK team takes a penalty with 15 seconds left on their kill?
November 14, 2008 12:25 PM ET | Delete
i think they should just add 1 more OT period prior to the shootout
November 14, 2008 12:26 PM ET | Delete
I think that this is a wonderful idea. I wonder what the league what say if it was brought to their attention.
November 14, 2008 12:39 PM ET | Delete
Like you, I HATE the shootout (I doubt there is one Flyers fan that actually likes it.........LOL) It is a travesty created to appease TV coming out of the lockout. Your idea actually has a great deal of merit, although I'd still like to see the 5 minutes of 4 on 4 first. Another alternative would be to go to 5 minutes of 3 on 3 after the initial 4 on 4 time and then power plays if necessary. At least this would give the team game a chance to be decided by a team instead of some prima donna. The problem with your idea is that it involves common sense and we all know that common sense and NHL are NEVER used in the same sentence
November 14, 2008 12:45 PM ET | Delete
I like the idea but it is pointless to debate. The league will never change it for several reasons. 1) The fans in the stadium are on their feet the entire time. People who don't play or don't truely understand the game love it. 2) It ends on time. The league knows that at X time the game will be over regardless of regulation or shootout. They won't have to deal with the playoff NBC/horse race disaster they had two seasons ago. 3) It attracts non hockey fans. For years it was the hit of the all star skills competition. -- I am not a fan of the shootout either probably because I play the game, suck at it myself, and the Flyers can't win one. Nice idea though. -SZ
November 14, 2008 5:17 PM ET | Delete
I don't actually have a problem with the shootout... unless the Flyers are in it, then yeah, I'd prefere they flip a coin or something. But I like your idea, the NHL won't cause it'll take longer and more effort than a Shootout. The NHL just wants the games done at this point. And it's better than a Tie because in with a possible Tie, everyone just plays Lame Defense in OT. Anyone know if Shanny's good at the Shootout?
November 15, 2008 11:22 AM ET | Delete
They play 82 games a season. Adding more OT will just wear these players down come playoff time. The shootout is a simple way to end the game. Why not see which team has more skill and showcase the games great players with a true mono y mono competition. Teams do not turtle at the end of OT to get to the shootout, they already have one point they have no incentive to go the Shootout if they can win in OT, if they lose either way they get the same point they would have gotten from the shootout. You have to accept that every regular season game can't end perfectly there are too many time and schedule restrictions. Over the course of a season the best teams will distinguish themselves from the bad ones, shootout or no shootout.
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