NHL Must Eliminate Shootouts

 The NHL is once again tinkering with the rules.  Now the NHL is considering eliminating shootouts from a tiebreaking process.  Let’s say that the New York Rangers and New York Islanders are tied for the final playoff spot.  Both teams have the same amount of wins and the same amount of points; however, the Rangers have FEWER shootout victories.  The Rangers would be the team to clinch the final playoff spot because they had more regulation or overtime wins and fewer shootout wins than the Islanders.  This is utter garbage!  A win is a win is a win is a win.  No team should be punished for HOW they win.

If the NHL really wants to eliminate shootouts from a tiebreaking process, then they need to eliminate the shootout altogether.  I have never liked the shootout, and I never will.  They need to eliminate the shootout and bring back ties.  Hall-of-famer Terry Sawchuk (pictured above) had an NHL record of 172 ties in his career.  Some of you may whine, “Aaaw, ties?!”  Yes, ties!  The NHL needs to bring ties back.  There is no shame in a tie. 

I find a hard-fought battle in which two teams fight for the win but end in a tie to be far more entertaining than watching players coasting for three rounds and hoping to get one paltry goal past today’s over-padded goalies.  Another reason I hate the shootout is because it increases the goalies’ chances of suffering a serious injury.  Anybody who thinks a penalty shootout is more entertaining than a hockey game needs to get their head examined.  If somebody dekes your star goalie out of his pads in the shootout and he tears his ACL while attempting a save, you wouldn’t love the shootout anymore.  You’d come to your senses and realize it’s a silly way to determine a victor.

If you think penalty shootouts are more entertaining than the game itself, then go back to watching ESPN Sportscenter.  You’re not a hockey fan, you’re a highlight addict who thinks sports are condensed into two or three plays!

What the NHL should do:

  • Eliminate shootouts altogether
  • Bring back ties
  • Have 10-minute overtime periods (still tied after OT = tie)

There won’t be as many ties as the whiners like to pretend there will be if you have 10-minute overtime periods.  Five minutes would not be enough; your team would be lucky to get three or four shots on goal in five minutes.  With 10 minutes, you will see a very entertaining overtime period in which both teams are hungry for the win.

Wins, losses and ties:  it’s simple.  No head-scratching and wondering what the tiebreaking scenarios will be for playoff spots.

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