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Shootout Shenanigans
Gimmickry keeps making mockery of the game
11/19/07 - By Paul Krill

Several years ago, I was witness to a gem of a game that would not be possible today. What I saw was game at the Meadowlands between the New Jersey Devils, with Martin Brodeur in goal, vs. the Buffalo Sabres, with Dominic Hasek between the pipes. The final score of 0-0 put the final touches on this duel between elite goaltenders, two of the game's best ever.

Today, of course, this wouldn't happen. Fighting its inferiority complex and striving for those elusive big TV bucks, the NHL decided to implement its silly shootout spectacle. Thusly, before the lights went out on that Brodeur vs. Hasek matchup, at least one of them would have to let in a goal in the shootout, under today's rules.

Now we all know the Sharks' 4-12 shootout record is the worst in the league. But I thought the shootout was a sham before any of this started.

It's really unfortunate that the league is constantly thinking it needs to tweak the game (as in changing basic tenets) to make it more popular and attract more people.

If the NHL ran pro football, tie games would be decided by quarterbacks standing on the 50-yard-line and trying to throw the ball through a swinging tire in the end zone. Tie baseball games would be decided by home run derbies and the fences would be moved in to 200 feet from home plate to give the fans more of what they supposedly want - home runs.

Somebody needs to tell me, though, exactly how many new fans has the NHL picked up from with its shootout travesty. One? Two? Three? Zero, maybe?

It's time to put the shootout to bed. A nice experiment, but it's time to move on.

…Penalty shots…

It is really disconcerting that the Sharks still can't beat the Ducks even when Anaheim has lost three of its best players from last season (Dustin Penner, Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer). Are the Ducks really that much better than the Sharks? It appears so…

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