Monday, March 10, 2014

Should the NHL Change Overtime Rules to Try and Avoid Shootout Results

T.J. Oshie Signed Photo - . 8x10 SlapshotNHL GMs are meeting today and Tuesday to discuss possible rules changes to Overtime (OT). There have been a number of recommendations that range from lengthening the OT period (to eight or even 10 minutes) to reducing the number of players from four per team to three per team.

The reason for the changes is to limit the number of games decided by the shootout, even though many fans find it exciting. I'm not a big fan of the shootout as a way settle games, even though I admit that it's exciting. I want the games to be decided by the continuation of play and not some circus like event.

So what does Sportmentary propose? I would like the NHL to consider changing the amount of points awarded for victories and losses. I recommend that the NHL awards three points to the team that is victorious in regulation and OT. Teams that win in the shootout should be awarded one point with the losing team receiving no points at all, regardless if it's in OT or the shootout.

I think that this point structure would make winning in regulation that more important. The disparity between winning in regulation as opposed to OT is much greater than winning in the shootout.

I believe that some teams play for the shootout once they get into OT, if they have players on their team that do well in the shootout (T.J. Oshie is that type of player). With the point structure mentioned above, all teams will do their best to win the game without settling for getting to the shootout.

Since losers will receive no points in any scenario, teams will do everything they can to win the game in regulation and OT. I think the games will be more exciting. I think overtime will be more exciting because of the drama that receiving three points would create.

One of the arguments against expanding the length of OT is that the games are long enough. Adding time to the game could make it hard on the players who play an 82 game schedule. I tend to agree with this argument.

My proposal wouldn't add any time to the game and my hope is that it would actually reduce the length of the game since teams would want to earn three points and avoid an almost meaningless shootout.

While winning in the shootout would earn the team one point it would be almost as bad as losing. Losing in the shootout would be the worst scenario possible, since a team would have played through OT and the shootout only to come away with nothing to show for their effort.

So what do you think the NHL should do with OT and the shootout?

Article source:

NHL Overtime

Should the NHL change its overtime format?

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