Our anonymous NHL player talks shootouts:
Recently I read a stat that 28 percent of NHL games in January went to a
shoot out. That didn't surprise me. It's a trend that concerns me.
think a lot of teams are playing to get to overtime, even playing for
the shoot out and roll the dice on winning the game with penalty shots.
Dallas 4 or 5 years ago was good at it. They had good defense and
goaltending, and a shoot out specialist like Jokinen. New Jersey is
another. Minnesota is like that now with a tight defensive style, solid
goaltending and shoot out guys like Koivu and Bouchard.
style of team plays a passive forecheck, a 1-4 to slow the game down,
chip it out and retreat. Teams like that are confident enough in their
own end that they will play rope a dope and believe that they will win
the game in a shoot out. They consider it a victory just to take the
game beyond 60 minutes. It's funny that the NHL says we need the shoot
out to create more excitement while many teams have perfected a boring
style for 60 minutes so they can have a shoot out.
says that the shoot out has an 85 percent approval rating from its fans.
I'm not sure it's that high. I think American fans like it more than
Canadian fans. I think for many the novelty has worn off. And I believe
that's the case for players. I can tell you that it's extremely hard to
digest a shoot out loss after you have outplayed your opponent by a wide
margin and you know they are just hanging on for the shoot out.
what's the solution? I'm a big proponent for 3 point regulation wins.
Can you imagine how exciting tight games would be if there was an extra
regulation point available for wins in regulation. Some might argue the
system we have has generated great playoff races but those 3 point wins
could give teams a chance to make up ground in a hurry. A couple of back
to back 3 point wins and a team could make up 6 points in the standings
in a hurry.
Traditionalists might argue that you would be
tampering with the statistical history of the game. Didn't we do that
when we implemented the 3 point games that see teams getting a loser
point? You could still make statistical comparisons to the past with
I'd also like to see the NHL consider 3on 3
overtime. You can see that 4 on 4 isn't as wide open as it used to be.
You still see teams willing to take their chances in a shoot out and
playing conservatively in OT. I don't think you could do that with 3 on
And I'm an old school guy when it comes to tie. In my books
there's nothing wrong with a hard fought draw. I think with the number
of games we play and the intensity of them guys are tired of going
beyond 60 minutes as frequently as we do.
So will this be an
issue when the next CBA is discussed? Obviously there are many issues
that are ahead of it. But I hope that it does become a discussion point.
I truly believe the 3 point regulation win and 3 on 3 overtime would be
good for the game.