Friday, November 25, 2011

Why are we awarding losers?

The NHL has many problems with the game that they're frequently trying to fix. It surprises me though that the overtime point does not come up as something the NHL needs to look at to improve the game.

The overtime point was introduced post-lockout in order to make games more decisive, with a shootout at the end of 5 minutes of extra time. Prior to the lockout, games would end in a tie and teams would use how many ties they had as a tie-breaker for entry to the playoffs. The point each team would receive for "making it to overtime" was supposed to eliminate this indecisiveness because the team that won either in extra time or in the shootout would be awarded an extra point.

This has now turned the 3rd period of some games into something that can become horrible to watch. On November 23rd, there were 13 games played and 7 of them went to overtime. That's more than half! During the last 10 minutes, the game practically stops being played if it is tied. Both teams just try to make it to overtime to get one point, and then try for the extra in extra time. This is ridiculous and not hockey.

First of all, fans pay good money to go to these games and watch a hockey game take place. Nothing makes me angrier as a fan than watching players dipsy doodle all over the place, playing a super tight defensive game and trying half-assed on offense, just to make sure they don't sustain an "actual" loss and not have any points to show.

Why is the NHL awarding points for losing?! They did not win, so why are they rewarded. If you wanted to make the game more decisive, why not just award one point to the winner in overtime, not two because they made it there and then won, and the loser gets nothing? Because they're the LOSER! Also, this allows teams to squeak into the playoffs due to the points they were awarded in overtime for losing. It makes no sense whatsoever.

The NHL needs to make changes to extra time to ensure that teams actually play the game the way it's supposed to be played. This will make the game more enjoyable, more decisive, and ensure that losers are not awarded for losing a game.

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