While the Bruins front office is busy with off-season moves and we are left waiting and wondering what is coming next. I thought it might be a nice change from endless trade speculations and cap crunching (not to mention a good release to help me over a recent MS paint addiction) to speculate on other NHL matters.
Detroit GM Ken Holland recently said he would push for changes to the overtime format. His point seems to be to limit the number of games decided by the shoot-out, by extending the 5 minute overtime period to eight or ten minutes and possibly playing the last half of overtime three on three instead of four on four. If the teams are still tied then they would proceed to the shoot-out.
I have to say I like the way he's thinking. I'm not a fan of the shoot-out. Last year roughly 24% of all games played went to overtime and 61% of those went to the shoot-out. When it was introduced the commissioner said the penalty shot was the most exciting play in hockey. I agree that during regulation play the penalty shot can be very exciting but it loses something for me in the shoot-out.
I believe the most exciting play is an overtime goal. Especially, on home ice or home ice outdoors, Thanks Sturmie! The only person that gets excited in a shoot-out win is Timmy Tommy. He does an arm pump and sometimes jumps after a final save. While its enjoyable to watch his reaction, I just have trouble sharing his excitement. Overtime game winners empty the bench and the celebration in the corner is much better. It brings you out of your seat.
The most interesting part of his suggestion is playing half of the OT period three on three. A professional pick-up game. (I wonder if they bring beer right out to the bench). I think that would be very entertaining, much more so than the shoot-out and I would think most games would be won or lost in the OT period. It would be two on one after two on one for a good four minutes. Should there be a great defensive play it could turn into a three on one the other way. That's much more exciting than a staged break away! If the league is willing to settle ties in the shoot-out format why not try a little pond hockey!