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Stupid NHL Rules: Overtime/Shootout

Its time for the good teams to get some separation from the bad teams

Hannah Foslien

From the NHL Rulebook:

Rule 84.1-Overtime-Regular Season: During regular-season games, if at the end of the three (3) regular twenty (20) minute periods, the score shall be tied, each team shall be awarded one point in the League standings.

The teams will then play an additional overtime period of not more than five (5) minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner and being awarded an additional point. The overtime period shall be played with each team at a numerical strength of four (4) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper. Additional penalties to be assessed consistent with the rules in regulation time.

Rule 84.4-Shootout: During regular-season games, if the game remains tied at the end of the five (5) minute overtime period, the teams will proceed to a shootout

Three (3) players from each team shall participate in the shootout and they shall proceed in such order as the Coach selects

Each team will be given three shots, unless the outcome is determined earlier in the shootout. After each team has taken three shots, if the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format. No player may shoot twice until everyone who is eligible has shot. If, however, because of injury or penalty, one team has fewer players eligible for the shootout than its opponent, both teams may select from among the players who have already shot. This procedure would continue until the team with fewer players has again used all eligible shooters.

Regardless of the number of goals scored during the shootout portion of overtime, the final score recorded for the game will give the winning team one more goal than its opponent, based on the score at the end of overtime.

If you know me in the slightest, one of my biggest pet peeves, that is hockey related, is the overtime/shootout scenario in the NHL.

Before the 2004-05 lockout, the shootout was only scene in the All Star Game (see 2003 ASG in Florida). Games that were not decided after the five minute overtime, simply ended in ties (cue Bart Simpson yelling "Boooooring!")

The shootout was a product of that lockout, to make the game more exciting, and give teams more of a reason to play hard in overtime (Teams were seen as not giving 100% in the extra session before the lockout).

But in actuality, shootouts are giving poorer teams a chance to stay in the race longer (see 2013 Columbus Blue Jackets, who thrived off the shootout victories). Its a ploy for fans to see that their team still has a chance, and get them out to the rink every night (Well played Bettman). Teams can have 2 or 3 skilled players and a good goalie, but can have a bad overall team and still take that extra point nightly. That is not right. The team as a whole needs to be rewarded.

Overtimes are more exciting than ever now. It is north and south, four on four hockey, that is all about the speed and skill of the teams best players, who are on the ice for most of the extra session. That is what the NHL should be marketing, not the shootouts. There was only one or two instances this year, where I said "That overtime was awful". Its time to get more out of the overtime period.

So the solution here is simple: Extend the overtimes to ten minutes, and/or toss in an extra point for teams who win the game in regulation/overtime (Giving three points for a regulation/overtime win and two points for a shootout win).

Imagine the overtime play if there was a 3rd point at stake, between two potential playoff teams in April. Yeah, that would be one awesome ten minutes of overtime.

Your thoughts?