Rule changes in sports suck.
There I said it.
I’ll also say I’m not proud of the title of this article but that’s neither here nor there.
Any who, rules that speed up the game, change format, new penalties yadda yadda yadda, I just don’t like it. I even hate it when the controls change year to year on my favorite sports video games (FYI EA’s NHL and Madden franchises, and I’ll expect my check in the mail, EA). But you mean to tell me that the rules I took my own personal time to learn might change? These rules should be sacred, the game shouldn’t change. Now don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate the rule changes that will benefit players’ safety, but even then some of those become a little too enforced (or wimpy) and can easily change the outcomes of games. I’m looking at you, NFL illegal hands to the face rule.
The point I am getting at, is that the NHL is in its process of evaluating potential rule changes to the game and I want to get our vast readership water cooler talking about their thoughts and opinions on one of the most exciting things in all of sports, hockey shootouts.
The NHL wants less games decided by shootouts. I want more shootouts1. They’re proposing changes to the overtime period that follows regulation to ensure less games going to shootouts. One proposed option is that there will be a 7 minute overtime, where the first 3 minutes would be played 4-on-4 and then 3-on-3 for the final 4 minutes. If there is no winner after that then there will be a shootout. The other option is just play a 3-on-3 for a full 5 minute overtime then have a shootout.
Now 3-on-3 hockey does sound exciting, however, 1-on-1, shooter vs. goalie, still sounds even more exciting in my books. Granted, my opinion is a little biased because it doesn’t help that our Blues have statistically one of the best shootout shooters in the history of the game. I’d hope you know who I am talking about, but in case not, let me refresh your memories with a little visual presentation.
Now if that doesn’t make you like shootouts, I don’t know what will.
Shootouts are great cause of the flashiness, the dekes, the hands and the ability to make goalies look foolish. Now now goalies, it definitely goes both ways and you guys don’t get as much credit as you deserve. Goalies can still come up with the save even though they get deked out of their skates, or snagging the puck in mid-air with the flashy glove save. They bait shooters to go one way so that they know they’re going the other.
Shootouts are a flashy, mental, mano e mano matchup that makes your stomach churn and your heart race, but when the lamp gets lit, or the goalie “stands on his head and spits out wooden nickels2“, all the excitement and nervousness was all worth it.
That’s why I want more shootouts in hockey, or hell, even more penalty shots. So hit us up on Twitter @ViewFromThePine and let us know what your thoughts are on the subject of shootouts. If you’re all for shootouts use the hashtag #moreNHLshootouts or if you’re against them use #lessNHLshootouts. Or forget the hashtags, just let us know what you think.