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Eliminating the shootout in the NHL?


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#1 DaRadniz29

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 00:59

Much like the trapezoid, two-line pass and no-touch, hybrid icing rules in hockey, the shootout is one on the front burner so to speak in terms of not so much controversy as it is a questions like:

- Is it really needed?
- Should you really determine the outcome of a game by a shootout?

My answer to both questions is no. It's not needed. Second, it seems like a lazy way to settle the outcome of a game. Watching the Sharks play Stars THursday night only strengthen the case against having a shootout. Now, this probably looks like I'm crying because the Sharks lost the shootout. No. The Sharks were not playing well the past few weeks and victories are earned, not deserved. The game itself was a very physical and defensive game, with a few pushes of the pace to sustained offense attack on both sides, it was a great game by both teams and between two fierce division rivals, minus the pesky otter. And it's not just the Sharks/Stars - I've seen other games this season that were played great by two teams only to have one team lose in the shootout.

First let me say that I'm not one that's been harping for elimination of the shootout since it was implemented. In fact I admit I loved the shootout, I thought it was great - the first couple of years, and from what I've heard it was really instituted to eliminate the tie and shorten games and bring back fans after the lockout. Maybe I've changed my mind about the shootout because I've grown to love hockey for the game, and not just a fan. Or maybe I just get board easily, I don't know. What I do know is there are a lot better ways without prolonging the game a whole lot.

First, let's look at what occurs now - Teams tied at the end of THird period - Commercial Break. We move to one 5 minute 4-on-4 OT period. No one scores - Commercial Break. - We move to a shootout with three shooters per side. Some nights by the time the shootout gets going we could be at 2-3 minutes into a second OT period that is 3-on-3 or teams could be tied and in the dressing room.

One idea I am tossing around is if teams are tied at the end of regulation, one commercial break, and then the game is extended by one 10 minute period of 5-on-5 with a running clock, on stoppages on calls for a penalty. Even if a puck goes out of play, during face offs the clock continues to run. At the end of the 10 minute period if the game is still tied, the game ends in a tie.

This would work best with the 3 point system. 3 ponts for a regulation win, 2 points for OT win, 1 point for OT loss.

It would also work work with a 2 point system.

While I kind of get the 1 point for OT loss, I think the downside of ties is that you may find a lot of holding back in OT for teams to assure themselves one point instead of trying to win the two points.

Another idea to keep players form trying not to lose instead of win is to keep the OT and Shootout, and the winner gets 1 pt. and a W the loser 0, and OTL

What do you think? If they eliminate the shootout, what would you have in it's place if anything?

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#2 the admiral

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 01:39

Five minutes 5 on 5, five minutes 4 on 4, shootout. No ties. Ties are an affront to hockey, sports, America, necks, and life. The shootout is a fine last resort, but they shouldn't be as common as they are.

I did goals scored in another thread. Shootouts since the lockout:

2005-06: 144 (11.6%)
2006-07: 164 (13.3%)
2007-08: 156 (12.8%)
2008-09: 159 (13.2%)
2009-10: 184 (15.0%) what up, Phoenix Coyotes
2010-11: 149 (12.1%)
2011-12: 138 (13.6%) and counting, on pace for 167

I think the ideal percentage of shootout games is, at most, somewhere around 1 in every 10, or 123 per season. You want them to be special, not perfunctory dispensations of extra points because everyone trapped long enough to earn a regulation tie. So the league needs to do what it can to drive that number down a bit.

I think the downside of ties is that you may find a lot of holding back in OT for teams to assure themselves one point instead of trying to win the two points.


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#3 aci

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:20

I'm not a fan of the shootouts, but unless you're going back to ties, I don't see the point in getting rid of them. The more important thing, to me, is the end of three-point games. Either they all need to be worth three (3 point wins), or they all need to be worth two (either ties or zero-point overtime losses or both).

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#4 the admiral

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:26

I don't like the idea of three-point wins. I also dislike the regulation-3 overtime-2 shootout-1 breakdown that's so often proposed. Now, this might be a little messy, but if we have to give partial credit for shootouts, half a point each for a 70-minute tie and the remaining point for the shootout win? That also brings us back to four-column standings, which were a national joke. This was a horrible idea. Forget I said it. [s] that whole thing.

One thing we should all agree on is that a team-on-team overtime loss should be a loss, and that's that. I can forgive the loser point for shootouts because the outcomes are basically a tie and a tie+ following what's in practice a virtual coin flip, but if you lose at 61:05, you didn't half-win.

#5 The Six

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:29

Just keep the damn shootout and get rid of points. Wins and losses. That's it.

#6 the admiral

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:32

That's just fine by me too, but keep outright wins as a primary tiebreak (well, primary after games in hand, which doesn't count at the end of the year, anyway).

#7 Norva

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:35

Get rid of shootouts and just have W-L-T just like in the NFL. I would love that. I never liked the whole points system thing in any sport.
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#8 DaytonBlue

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:44

I kind of like the charity point for two reasons: it keeps the standings closer and the regular season more meaningful and it makes inter-conference games more fun because the teams go all out since if the other team scores it doesn't hurt their position in the standings as much as playing an intraconference team. I do think the extra point should only apply if it goes to a shootout. The standings should read W-L-SOL.

However, going to just wins and losses would be fine with me, and the shootout in the REGULAR SEASON doesn't bother me. If you don't want to deal with the "coin flip" that is the shootout, win it in overtime. I do think three shooters isn't enough though but they should have 5 instead.

Another idea could be 10 minutes of 3 on 3 before a shootout. With that much space on the ice, shootouts would become more of a rarity.

Or how about this idea: 5 on 5 sudden death overtime, no goalies. Yeah I know it's crazy. Again, regular season only.

Not a big fan of going back to ties. I remember leaving tied games as a kid and it felt like going to a movie and then the movie ending without the conflict being resolved.

If they try to add the shootout to the playoffs, I might stop watching hockey.
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#9 VancouverFan69

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:47

I never had a problem with ties in the NHL. If ties are accepted in soccer, there is no reason why they cannot be accepted in hockey. I'd rather watch an exciting 4-4 or a 5-5 tie than a game ending 2-1 or 3-2 in a shootout. Also, ties make wins more genuine. I remember when a team you rooted for had to settle for a tie against a weaker opponent who tied the game. It felt like a loss. On the other hand, if you were a fan of that weaker team, that tie would feel like a win. The standings used to mean something and now they don't. Every game needs to be worth the same value.

However, if the NHL were to keep the shootout, then do the obvious: 3 points for a win in regulation and a 10-minute ot with 5-on-5 and 0 for a loss. Then, it's 2 points for a shootout win and 1 point for a shootout loss. The standings would look like this: Games Played Wins Losses SO Wins SO Losses and Points. What the NHL has right now regarding their points system is a joke. Every game has a winner but many games do not have a loser.

#10 the admiral

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 02:56

it keeps the standings closer and the regular season more meaningful

It makes everyone kinda not necessarily bad but maybe kinda good, such that there's one big blob of just-above-average where some teams make the playoffs and others don't and you can't really say they earned it. Plus, it deludes teams into pseudo-competing when they should be rebuilding and thus finding themselves in virtually interminable holding patterns of 7-to-10thish place purgatory (Flames more than anyone, Stars, Canadiens, Ducks, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes come to mind).

Another idea could be 10 minutes of 3 on 3 before a shootout. With that much space on the ice, shootouts would become more of a rarity.

With six skaters on the ice, you're basically having a shootout with the clock running and moving pylons, like a video game skills competition.

Or how about this idea: 5 on 5 sudden death overtime, no goalies. Yeah I know it's crazy. Again, regular season only.

That sounds like something Gary Bettman proposed in his first week on the job.

If they try to add the shootout to the playoffs, I might stop watching hockey.

no one has ever suggested this!

I never had a problem with ties in the NHL. If ties are accepted in soccer, there is no reason why they cannot be accepted in hockey.

Yeah well acting like you've been ritually disemboweled upon incidental contact is accepted in soccer, and there are reasons why that's generally frowned upon in oh wait a minute where fan 69?


Also, ties make wins more genuine. I remember when a team you rooted for had to settle for a tie against a weaker opponent who tied the game. It felt like a loss. On the other hand, if you were a fan of that weaker team, that tie would feel like a win.

Or you could just have wins and losses that feel like wins and losses because they're wins and losses.

However, if the NHL were to keep the shootout, then do the obvious: 3 points for a win in regulation and a 10-minute ot with 5-on-5 and 0 for a loss. Then, it's 2 points for a shootout win and 1 point for a shootout loss. The standings would look like this: Games Played Wins Losses SO Wins SO Los

tl;dr

#11 DaytonBlue

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 03:04

I know no one has ever suggested adding shootouts to playoffs, but I guess with all the changes in sports these days nothing seems within the realm of impossibility. If the TV networks said to the NHL that they think playoff ratings would be better with quicker games, Bettman would have the rule book rewritten in no time!

As far as Van69's point idea, as someone said above, having four columns of standings looks silly. But I wouldn't mind seeing 3 pts for regulation/OT win, 2 pts for shootout win, 0 pts for loss. And I don't mind the 4 on 4, but making OT 10 minutes would be good.
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#12 ElwoodCuse

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 04:05

lol I remember a couple years ago when the playoffs had a bunch of long OT games the TV people started getting cranky and said they should do something after an overtime or two to make the game end faster

but the people who matter are universally opposed to anything else in the playoffs
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#13 Kramerica Industries

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 06:57

Playoff hockey is better than any other sport. Not a thing should ever be changed about it.

In regards to the shootout, I have always been in opposition of it as well, since I'm not a huge fan of a game being decided by a skills competition. For those who will still take it as a necessary final measure to prevent ties, I won't argue against that, but I do argue against changing the style of hockey just for the OT period as well. Should be 10 minutes, 5-on-5, ideally under a three-point system that marks the end to the whole "two point or three point game" aspect of hockey.

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#14 Evil Doctor

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 08:56

The shootout is and always will be an abomination. It's perfectly fine as a way of determining tournaments where there is a limited time frame to decide a championship, but for regular season hockey and North American playoff games? Burn it with the hot fire of a thousand suns...

Because the NHL has been successful in speeding up the pace of the game, it only makes sense in an event of a tie after regulation is to have a 15 minute intermission inorder to resurface the ice followed by a 20 minute overtime period of 5 on 5 hockey. If it's still tied after that, then both teams get a point and register a tie.

All this shootout, 4 on 4, and 3 on 3 is just a bunch of gimicky crap that only pollutes the purity of hockey...

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#15 Magnus

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 10:02

I'm in the "keep playing periods until you decide a winner" camp. Straight wins and losses.These are the best of the best players, and shouldn't be settling for ties. If the game goes into like a 5th overtime, call the action for the night and resume the game on a different day. Of course, I realize that games like these would become as boring to watch as baseball is to me now, but really, how many hockey games have you seen last 6 hours?

Play to win, not to tie. And no gimmicks.

#16 dfwabel

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 10:24

So since your "NFL draft/FA prediction" gathered no responders, therefore you created this one, huh?

#17 Evil Doctor

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 10:41

I'm in the "keep playing periods until you decide a winner" camp. Straight wins and losses.These are the best of the best players, and shouldn't be settling for ties. If the game goes into like a 5th overtime, call the action for the night and resume the game on a different day. Of course, I realize that games like these would become as boring to watch as baseball is to me now, but really, how many hockey games have you seen last 6 hours?

Play to win, not to tie. And no gimmicks.


Nothing wrong with a tie in regular season play. This hatred for ties by Americans borders on psychopathy.... <_<

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#18 Ice_Cap

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 11:04


I'm in the "keep playing periods until you decide a winner" camp. Straight wins and losses.These are the best of the best players, and shouldn't be settling for ties. If the game goes into like a 5th overtime, call the action for the night and resume the game on a different day. Of course, I realize that games like these would become as boring to watch as baseball is to me now, but really, how many hockey games have you seen last 6 hours?

Play to win, not to tie. And no gimmicks.


Nothing wrong with a tie in regular season play. This hatred for ties by Americans borders on psychopathy.... <_<

I'm not an American, and I dislike ties. Call me crazy, but I prefer the result of a game to actually reflect that a game has been played.

No one's suggesting that shootouts be added to the playoffs. So people ought to stop talking about that as a possibility.

As for the regular season? I both like the shootout and get why others would have a problem with it. Ideally teams would just play 5-5 overtime periods until someone scores. Problem is, that's just not sustainable. Say a game goes long. Like "we're almost to tomorrow" long. Those teams, even the one that wins, will be at a huge disadvantage the next game. Enough of these types of games and players all over will be exhausted come playoff time. So if continuous OT won't work then the shootout is the only way to ensure that a game doesn't end in a tie.
Still, they do seem to be far to common. The best solution, I think, would be to have a single 20 minute 5-5 sudden death overtime period followed by a shootout. Expanding the single OT period to a full period would cut down on the number of games going to shootouts, while still keeping them around as a means to end ties.

Standings wise, admiral has the right idea. Without ties to worry about they should drop points all together and use the simple W-L in the standings, but use regulation wins as a tiebreaker.

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#19 crashcarson15

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 17:41

If the teams are tied after 60 minutes, call it a tie. No need to resort to a different set of rules to decide the game.

5-on-5 overtime if anything. No OTL points. No shootouts.

#20 PacificCoastRL

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Posted March 10, 2012 - 22:05

We have a British Columbia Hockey League team where I live. In the case of a tie at the end of regulation time the BCHL plays five minutes of 4-on-4, then five minutes of 3-on-3, no shootouts. As I type this there are nine games left in the 480 game regular season and there have been 11 ties. There is nothing more exciting than 3-on-3 hockey. It is back-and-forth with 2-on-1 breaks constantly. Just go to 3-on-3 for ten minutes and if a game is tied after that so what. But award three points for a win, two for OT win, one for OT loss and one for a tie. Oh, another rule, in the BCHL, any penalty in the 3-on-3 period is a penalty shot.