Monday, January 30, 2012 a Fan of the NHL Shootout

Prior to the NHL adopting the shootout 8 years ago, Sportmentary was strongly against the shootout.  The belief was that the game of hockey was being watered down by the NHL.  Many hockey traditionalist agreed.

Eight years later, is a big fan.  NHL games now have a guaranteed outcome for every NHL game.  Sportmentary believes that the majority of fans like the shootout and find it extremely exciting.  After 60 minutes of regulation an NHL game goes into a 5 minute sudden death Over Time period OT).  If the game is still tied, there is a shootout.  The losing team in both the OT period and shootout receive one point

In the past, the majority of NHL games ended in a tie.  There was no incentive to play for a win, since the losing team received no points for a loss.  Now teams have an incentive to earn an extra point and go full throttle in the OT period.  If the game is still tied, they still have a chance of winning the shootout.

It's a win win situation for the fans and the teams involved.  The only objection Sportmentary would have for the shootout is if the NHL implemented it for the playoffs.  That most likely wouldn't happen.  Fans love the sudden death thrill and play until you drop or score system of playing OT until a winners is declared.  Playing unlimited sudden death periods is not practical in the regular season.  The season is long  and teams can't afford to have their travel extended by the physical nature of an extended game. would like to see the OT period extended to 7 minutes.  That would add some excitement to the OT period and more games could be decided in a more traditional manner than a skills competition.  All in all Sportmentary is a fan of the shootout and believes that the fan experience has been enhanced because of it.

With talks between the NHLPA and the NHL yet to come, sportmentary hopes that the NHL keeps the shootout.  It would be a real shame if the shootout were to disappear from the game.

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