Wings GM Holland wants to change overtime

1-holland.jpgIt can be said that the current format for deciding games in the NHL isn’t exactly the most heartwarming way to get business done, even if television executives love it. The shootout has it’s problems and even though the Philadelphia Flyers might take umbrage with you over it considering they made the playoffs courtesy of the skills competition, I think even they would tell you it’s kind of bogus. This is where Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland wants to step in and save us as KuklasKorner was able to tip us off about today.

“I’d like to see more games decided in overtime than shoot-out,” Holland said Tuesday. “I don’t mind the shoot-out, I just don’t want the shoot-out to decide so many games.”…

“My suggestion is, extend OT from five minutes to eight minutes or from five minutes to 10 minutes,” Holland said. “Then maybe do we go half of it four-on-four, half of it three-on-three?

“I just want to have a conversation to see if other people feel like I do.”

It’s probably for the best that Holland has this conversation with other general managers and not with someone like me who wants to set their head on fire every time a game is decided in the shootout. The shootout and the overtime formats aren’t without their problems, the biggest being that games decided in overtime are somehow worth more points than games decided in regulation.

If the league wants to bring about any kind of respectability, perhaps adopting the IIHF manner of handing out points is the way to go. The IIHF gives regulation winners three points for a win in regulation but if a game reaches overtime, both teams are awarded one point and then the winner in overtime or a shootout gets the second point as opposed to the current NHL format which basically awards a charity point for a game reaching overtime.

That said, doing things that way makes too much sense and it would eliminate a lot of the closeness in the standings which is something all the teams enjoy because it means filling up arenas later in the season because teams are still, technically, in the playoff race.

Serenity now!

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…