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In Defense of the Shootout

When the National Hockey League first instituted the shootout coming out of the lockout in 2005-06, immediately there was a line drawn in the sand.  To one side were those in favor of an ending more satisfying than a tie and to the other, those who labeled the shootout a gimmicky, “skills competition”. 

From the start it was obvious that I was in that first group.  I was enthralled by the individual show of skill.  I wasn’t alone.  The other 18,198 people in Madison Square Garden seemed equally riveted, standing unprompted, and remaining that way throughout. 

The shootout shone a rare spotlight on individual talent.  Without it, would we have gotten to see so many variations on the Datsyukian Deke?

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  Tags: marek+malik, mike+ribiero, pavel+datsyuk, shootout

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