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Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher backs efforts to reduce shootouts

Guy Boucher dislikes the shootout so much, he claims that when his teams have won with the game-ending gimmick, the outcome still feels like a tie.

That is why the Lightning coach said he welcomes a proposal by Red Wings GM Ken Holland to extend overtime from five minutes to eight, with the first four minutes played four-on-four, as it is now, and the second four played three-on-three.

"Three-on-three, now that can be exciting," Boucher said. "If you've got fast players out there, you've got two-on-ones and breakaways in there."

More important, teams have three extra minutes to avoid a shootout. That, as far as the league is concerned, should be the ultimate goal.

Shootouts stink. Personal opinion, but they should be banished as a way to decide games.

It is said they are popular with the fans. Tough. When you decide a game with what is basically a glorified skills competition, you insult the effort players gave the previous 65 minutes.

Let's see: A player drives the net past two defenders, takes a slash across the wrist and a cross-check in the back to score the tying goal late in the third period, and his team loses in a shootout because a guy on the other team can lift a backhander more cleanly?

Really?

And tell me it was fair last season when the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs on the season's final day not because Philadelphia's power play was extraordinary or the team blocked a ton of shots but because the Flyers beat New York in a breakaway contest.

As Boucher said, "If you end the game with something that's not part of a team sport, it makes me a little sour.

"Whatever is going in the direction to make less shootouts, I'm all for it."

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher backs efforts to reduce shootouts 11/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 13, 2010 6:38pm]
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