It 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.