I am done with the NHL shootout. It’s over. It’s dead to me.
When the league brought in the shootout following the 2004-2005 lockout I was all for it. Ties were boring and it was going to be fun to see some creativity when games went beyond five minutes of overtime. However after the Sharks record 13 round “snoozeout” against Edmonton Monday, I’ve crossed over to the other side. The longer that thing went the worse it got. A total of 26 shots were taken and only THREE goals were scored. Seriously? And it’s not like the goalies were amazing or anything. The Sharks kept shooting 5-hole on Viktor Fasth and he kept stopping them. At the other end the Oilers kept shooting glove hand high on Antti Niemi and he kept catching them. It was beyond dull. I guess it got fun for the players in the later rounds as they got to watch teammates who normally don’t get the call, attempt to score. Do you think Matt Irwin got chirped at all in the dressing room after the game?
But when you think about it the league is pretty much over the whole shootout thing too. Right off the bat they devalued a shootout win by creating the ROW column in the standings and making that the first tiebreaker. Then at the start of the season they outlawed “spin-o-rama” goals effectively taking the gimmick factor out of what was a gimmick to begin with. And then part way through this season the dry scrape was abandoned leaving the ice so poor in many rinks by the time overtime is over than even the most skilled players don’t want to deke the goalie for fear that they’ll lose the puck, not get a shot on goal and get chirped by their teammates in the dressing room later (see above).
So if the game is still tied after overtime go ahead and play 3-on-3 or 2-on-2 or flip a coin or have the captains arm wrestle at center ice. But the shootout? Kill it.
I’m Randy Hahn for sjsharks.com