Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/16/05 at 09:55 AM ET
If a shootout is good enough for Olympic hockey, and for World Cup soccer, it should be good enough for the Stanley Cup playoffs Hockey's old guard (crusty Canadian curmudgeons) can't stand the shootout. They talk about the tie game as if it were a hockey sacrament, a reflection of the game's essentially righteous character. Of course, these are the same dinosaurs who held the sport back for years, content to sit back as suffocating, defensive hockey sucked the life out of their sport and drove casual fans to auto racing and poker. Critics of the shootout say it cheapens the game. They say a shootout is a skills competition, not legitimate hockey. They say it's unfair for a team to be outplayed for a full game and then lose because the opposition has a better goalie. Come on. A shootout tests the most basic of hockey skills. It's a breakaway, an offensive star against a goalie, best man wins. If anything, there should be more breakaways in hockey. They should award more penalty shots in regulation.
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