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Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Hate the Shootout by @kjcmalakai

On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins tried valiantly to exorcise some demons against the San Jose Sharks.  It has been since October 22, 1997 that the Penguins have bested the Sharks at what has come to be known as the Shark Tank in San Jose  To put that into perspective...

Elton John's remake of his 1973 classic "Candle in the Wind" to commemorate the passing of Princess Diana in August of 1997 was #1 on the Billboard charts.

"The Devil's Advocate" was #1 at the box office, which for the career of Keanu Reeves was after the Bill and Ted movies and "Speed" but before Hollywood realized that he is just a dreadful actor...

The television show "ER", which anchored NBC's Must See TV Thursday night lineup and launched the career of George Clooney (as well as put the death nail in John Stamos'), was #1 on televison.

The only thing better than @evil_shero and I being college Freshman roommates in 1997, was that the NHL did not have the skills competition shootout to decide which team won a game.  Hyperbole aside, the shootout was not introduced until 2005-2006 after the lockout canceled season of 2004-2005.  The shootout was implemented for a myriad of reasons; the most agreed upon being that it eliminates the "kissing your sister" tie and it is exciting for the casual fan.

If you don't get this reference then you need to reexamine what you have been  doing with your life
"I LOVE SHOOTOUTS says a casual hockey fan"
So what does the shootout have to do with 1997 and the San Jose Sharks?  The Penguins' losing streak to the Sharks in San Jose now continues because... the Penguins lost to the Sharks in a shootout.  In a game in which it was widely recognized that the Penguins outplayed the Sharks, it came down to a breakaway contest that the Penguins ultimately lost in the 8th round.  Who knows if the Penguins would have won a game with a longer overtime period, like the playoffs. Even in the old points system, the Penguins would have tied the Sharks, earned the same point, and still not have beaten them.  I just hate the fact that a game gets decided by not playing hockey.  

The Penguins have had 9 games go to a shootout this season and they have a record of 3-6 in those games.  That's not good for a team with the offensive fire power and skill set that the Penguins possess.  It also leaves a lot of extra standings points on the ice.  I guess we can forgive MAF for this shootout goal, though.

The Penguins aren't the only Metro team to struggle in the shootout.  The Rangers are 3-5 and the C(r)apitals are 3-4 in the skills competition  The Islanders however are 7-3 in the shootout, partially contributing to their standings' success this season- especially in a currently crowded Metro division.

The Islanders and their shootout record
International hockey has at least figured out that rewarding a team that wins the shootout with the same number of points that a team earns for a regulation win is like winning a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award.  Sure it's an award, but is it worth as much as an Oscar, Emmy, or Grammy?

Kanye West interrupts this post to say what he thinks about the points earned for a shootout
International hockey awards 3 points to a regulation game winner, 2 points to an overtime or shootout win, 1 point to an overtime or shootout loss, and 0 points for a regulation loss.  This system (rightfully) awards an extra point for winning a game in regulation.  This system, however, will never get implemented in the NHL because it will bury the bad teams in the standings even faster thus decreasing their financial bottom line.  The longer a team appears to be relevant, the longer fans will pay attention before tuning over to another entertainment product.

For the record... changing the points system to the international system doesn't change the current standings at the top of the Metro.  In the international system the standings* would look like:

Rangers = 125 points
Islanders = 120 points
Penguins = 115 points
Capitals = 111 points

What do yinz think of the shootout and is there a better alternative than a shootout to break ties if you think that a game should not end in a tie?

*It is not entirely fair, however, to just convert the current standings using the international system because the games were not played with an additional point being in play for a regulation win.  It is impossible to determine how teams would have played out the third period with an additional point available.

1 comment:

  1. I like the shootout during the regular season. It's exciting' especially if you are there, and we've had seasons in the past where we have dominated the shootout. It also guarantees that you don't have to leave a game in the third overtime because it's 11:30 on a week night.(I've been there back in the day)


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