I know I am in a small minority here and probably wrote the same thing at some point last season, but, geez, I hate shootouts. What does it say about the game when you need a gimmick to decide which team wins and loses?
Take last night's 3-2 victory over the Senators. Eight rounds of a shootout to decide the game? Eight rounds? At that point it is no longer a test of skill. You might as well flip a coin, and, to me, that disrespects the effort the players on the two teams have exerted to that point.
I have had this discussion with my father-in-law numerous times. He is a die-hard Rangers fan and LOVES the shootout; says the fans where he sits at Madison Square Garden do, too. Fine, the shootout is here to stay. That doesn't mean I have to like it. And, really, it comes down to one point: it is a gimmick. It is not part of the game.
Look, I understand the rationale about not wanting ties, about wanting a definitive outcome. But you know what? I would have had no problem if Saturday's game ended 2-2. That's because both teams worked their butts off. Tampa Bay didn't have its A game but it worked like crazy to stick with a more skilled opponent and, ultimately, overcame that by outworking that opponent. A tie was a badge of honor, a testament to great goaltending. An extra point in a shootout win is nice in the standings, but, to me, how it was achieved just cheapens what went on the previous 65 minutes. I say keep the extra five minutes, play four on four and give an extra point for an overtime win.
I know, I'm an old fart who doesn't get it. What I do get is the effort that went into Saturday's game and how a shootout did not for a second tell me which was the better team.
End of rant, thanks for listening.