Los Angeles Kings: A Win Is A Win Is A Win
October 27, 2016
I love hockey. Whether it's played on ice or cement with sharp blades of steel or roller blades.
As long as there is a puck and a net I'll watch it and cheer for whichever team I believe is working the hardest. When all of the cheering is over, though, I want a clear winner.
Last Saturday, at the end of what I would generally consider a well-played game, the Kings found themselves in a 3-3 tie with Vancouver. Now Vancouver is clearly a very good team...after all, they have The Sedins , always a force to be reckoned with.
The Kings ultimately registered a win because Tyler Pearson sent a shot through the pads of the Canuck's goalie, Jacob Markstrom. The shot was taken during the shootout at the end of the five- minute overtime period. The Kings racked up two more points and the Vancouver team moved on with one point.
There are many fans who believe a shootout is not the way to decide the outcome of a hockey game....at least not in the NHL. I, recall seasons, though, when the Kings got to the end of their 82 regular season games and were then forced to wait for the point-counting and the last games on the league schedule to be played before they knew if they would have a post-season run.
I've read a number of articles written by knowledgeable individuals with opinions about the shootout as a tie-breaking tool in the NHL. Many of these fans do not support the shootout format for deciding a game. However, none of these nay-sayers has changed my mind and I still feel strongly that a tie game is not a win.
Yes, I understand that points are awarded and at the end of the regular season, these points can and frequently do, make a difference. However, no other professional sport allows a tie to stand at the end of a game.
Some are of the opinion that a system of alternating power plays could solve the problem. I'm not certain that making the game last longer is the solution.
Others say that a shootout is neither a test of skill nor an indicator of who played the game more effectively. While I don't disagree with this way of thinking I must admit to getting enjoyment out of watching a player charge down the ice trying to get a commitment from the goal tender that will open a window for the puck.
I would think, that there is only meager satisfaction after blocking shots for 60 regulation minutes and five overtime minutes, only to have it end in a tie
A tie at least registers as a shutout for the goalie. Shootouts definitely infuse excitement into games that may have lost fan interest, sending people to the exits before the game has been decided.
NHL hockey is certainly an evolving game. Although I've been a fan for more than 10 years I learn something different from every game I watch.
And while the thrill of seeing the Kings win the Stanley Cup twice was unbelievably memorable, when anyone asks me which team is my favorite, I always tell them "I feel as though I should be partial to the California teams, but the fact is I just love the game."
It really doesn't matter which teams are playing. If the game is available to me, I will watch it.