On Deserving to See a Winner and a Loser


Malik draws attention this morning to Gregg Krupa’s column on ending the NHL’s use of the shootout as a tiebreaker. This is something I can get behind.

The argument in favor of a shootout typically centers around fans who paid to go to the game “deserving” to see a winner and a loser. “Ties are like kissing your sister” and other such nonsense.

The fallacy behind that is that paying fans “deserve” to see a lot of things that we don’t implement stupid rules to enforce.

I’ve been to three Red Wings games this year; in only one did they appear to put forth any actual effort. I “deserved” to see my team try, didn’t I? Or taking that a little further, do I deserve to see an evenly-officiated game? Do I deserve to see an exciting game?

If the shootout is about giving the fans what they deserve to see, why did the NHL stop there? Why not make rule changes to make games more exciting?

The answer is that the shootout wasn’t about giving the fans what they supposedly “deserve.” It was about creating highlights. It was about giving something for ESPN to show every morning, getting hockey in front of people who normally wouldn’t watch it in a convenient 10 second package.

Whether that’s worked or not, I don’t know, I don’t watch SportsCenter.

If it were up to me, I’d get rid of the shootout. Go back to two points for a win, one for a tie. No more three point games, which means you get to avoid the debate on whether or not a loss in the shootout should be worth a point, which is a whole other issue.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.

Comments are closed.