In discussing this post below on another site, I saw that a lot more people than I expected were completely fine with, or actively liked, shootouts deciding games. What say you all?
A post from a Capitals forum:
"I don't think it's a secret I don't like the shootout. In fact, I abhor it. It's a blight and an insult to the game. It's eye candy designed to please the fans of the lowest common demoninator and it cheapens the sport. Last night's game is Exhibit A.
Hockey is a game of contrasts, some obvious, some quite subtile. You blend elegance and artistry of the highest athletic level with a brutality and toughness not found in other sports. You put the fastest of team sports which contains the most immediate and explosive transitions in a finite enclosed arena. You follow a black puck at sometimes nearly invisible speeds on a white ice surface. It's a beautiful contrast of strategy and systems with unscripted decisions made at a lightning pace.
One of the more subtile, but more meaningful and esoteric contrasts has been lost...the tie game. Hockey is a game of transition. The puck is won and lost on the order of 400 times a game. That's an average of about once every 7 or 8 seconds. Sure, sometimes a PP unit may hang onto the puck for 20 or 25 seconds, but that's the exception. Every hockey hockey game contains hundreds of mini-battles...hundeds of mini-wins and losses. These are moments of immediate gratification. Our guy comes out of the corner with the puck. Our guys avoids a poke check with a nice curl and drag to get a nice shot on goal. Our goalie snags a blast headed upper corner. And vice versa.
The game is comprised of these moments of immediate gratification or disappointment. Sixty minutes worth. About 400 times a game.
To feel the clock winding down in the 3rd period in a tie game knowing that these 400 battles might not settle anything is a beautiful moment. It confirms an uncertainty that was a great part of this game...that two teams could be so evenly matched over a 60 minute series of battles that no result could be had. It meant that there was unfinished business to be settled later. It meant that this one game became something bigger than itself. It underscored the importance of each of those 400 battles. It reminded us how importance each was.
Last night's game was a classic. Advantage Caps, but the Pens never broke and they got the timely goals they needed. MAF stood on his head. His save on Green was a beautiful thing. It should have been the stop that got the Pens and point a preserved the tie game. Both teams wanted this game. They played like it. Each team should have been denied equally by the other. An impressive battle without result. Unfinished business.
Players often lament a tie more than a loss. It's pregnant with Could-Have-Beens and What-Ifs. They can't wait to see those guys again to finish what wasn't finished. That should have been the lead in to the Winter Classic. That's the beautiful contrast to the immediate gratification of 400 battles...just wait until next time...we'll prove then who plays a better game of hockey.
Instead we get the artificiality of a shootout...a skills competition that follows a tie hockey game. We're all instructed to pretend that one team beat the other when our own eys and ears tell us that no one beat anyone in a hockey game. The game was a tie.
A beautiful thing has gone from this game. An opportunity foregone. The Winter Classic should have been another chance for two evenly matched teams to try to prove again who's superior...in a hockey game. It should have been a chance to finish that unfinished business."