Thursday night, I had the pleasure of watching NHL playoff hockey featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. The Pens/Sens game was fun and all, but it was a disappointment for me; I was expecting to see the Sharks and Avalanche game. Why was the problem? Oh yeah, the Pittsburgh game went into triple overtime. Granted, it wasn’t the longest overtime in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but still triple O.T. is a bit much.
I don’t really understand why we can’t see a shootout in playoff hockey. They are always exciting, fast-paced, and they get the crowd going. In an instant it can be all over for a team and yeah that part sucks, but that can happen during the overtime period too. These numerous overtimes are resulting in players becoming worn out. That to me leads to boring hockey, and for what purpose? Why do we change the rules once we enter playoff play?
I do understand that the shootout sort of resembles the whole “one and done” deal of the field goal to win a game in O.T. in NFL games, but before you can get to a shootout during the regular season in the NHL, you have to play a period of overtime first. That seems pretty fair to me. If neither team can score during the extra 20 minutes they are allowed, then let them take it to a shootout. No one knows what the outcome of a shootout will be. The Penguins could have advanced to the conference semis had a shootout been an option, or the hands of fate could have still let the Sens win. This year, the Stanley Cup can really go to anyone. Either way, I think this whole unlimited overtime stuff has to go.
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