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@#$^%$# Shootouts!

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

I like the shootout.  I really do.  They’re exciting, nobody likes leaving the arena after a tie game, etc. etc.

Paul Branecky
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But it’s funny how losing them can totally change your perspective on the game.  When the Canes got to overtime last night, obviously I thought they could win after playing very well in the third period, but I found myself thinking, “This is good, no matter what happens, we get a point on the road against a very good team.”

Then the shootout happened, all of the sudden it seemed like a loss, and I was a little bummed out.  Not quite as bummed out as it sounds like the team was (“It's like you buried your dead cat in the locker room - nobody's talking,” said Peter Laviolette), but somehow disappointed even though my earlier logic gave me no reason to be.  Part of it was because the Canes put in a gutsy performance and played much better than they did on Long Island - can’t argue with 19 shots allowed in regulation as opposed to 60 – and probably deserved better.

I think the bottom line is that shootouts are really only fun when you win them.  I loved them in their first year when the Canes posted an 8-2 record, but have been lukewarm on them since (2-9).  The fact that the team missed the playoffs by two points last year after dropping three of their own in the shootout, not to mention the extra points that teams ahead of the Canes got by winning theirs, didn’t help.

Given the recent results, I’m sure there are more naysayers than supporters of the shootout in Caniac nation these days, and we could argue all day on whether or not they’re good for the game.

It just so happens we have all day.  Share your thoughts, and be honest, how much do they have to do with the Canes winning and losing?  What bizarre analogy would you use to describe how it feels to lose one?

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