NHL Modifies Tiebreaker Rules


The shootout has become a controversial topic amongst hockey’s loyal fan base. Some like it; some are OK with it; others despise it. Well, the NHL entered the fray and voiced an opinion of its own – shootout victories will no longer count toward a team’s win total when it comes time to break ties in the standings. Only regulation and OT victories will help a team in a tiebreaker.

While I agree with the league’s decision, it left me asking myself, “Why not just eliminate the shootout altogether?” If you’re going to leave it in as part of regular-season games, how can you penalize teams for being successful at it? You’re essentially rewarding teams that fail at the glorified skills competition, which is a part of the game per league rules. A win should be a win, right? Ow – my head is starting to hurt.

I like the new rule because I’m not a fan of the shootout. It’s not a good way to decide the outcome of a 65-minute game, and the bonus point is a big deal in the standings. I wish the NHL would just go back to tie games. You know, back when a team got 2 points for a win and 1 for a tie. Who knows, maybe the rule won’t have a major impact on anything. But it will be interesting if it costs a team a playoff spot…for winning more shootouts than somebody else.