(Hello, I am a regular poster on the Rangers blog here at SBNation. I would like to congratulate the Flyers on a great game Sunday and for making the playoffs. The reason I am here is because I was disappointed that such a great game Sunday, with playoff births at stake, was decided by a shootout. In my opinion (as you will read) the shootout was the worst way to end such a game, and it's awful that a team's opportunity to play in the playoffs was decided by one. I wrote this article on the Rangers blog, and wanted to know what your response is.)
(Even though the Flyers won the shootout, are you satisfied (happy in how it was ultimately decided) with the ending?)
When it comes to the end of a hockey game in the regular season, we have all asked ourselves if the shootout was the most sensible thing we can do to allow a winner and a loser in every game. Some agree, some disagree and call it the "charity point" to go along with the point system argument. I think for now, if a winner and a loser must be determined, the shootout is alright. But in the back of my mind, although I can come up with plenty of counter arguments, a shootout should not determine any winner when playoff implications are at stake. This leaves me to my question for all of you: Is it a good thing or a bad thing that a shootout can determine what team gets into the playoffs?
As I watched the Rangers play the Flyers Sunday, I wanted the game to end sensibly. I wanted there to be no bad calls, no gimmicks, just a hard fought game, and a winner. it just pains me to see the Rangers miss the opportunity to play in the playoffs because they lost a shootout. I am not talking as a Rangers fan, but as a hockey fan. Should a team's season be decided by a shootout?
As I said, I have many counter arguments. A team could've clinched a playoff birth before season's end by winning a shootout. So does every game that could decide a playoff contender have to end differently than every other game? No. A team that reaches the playoffs could've won plenty of shootouts in the regular season. Likewise, a team that reaches the playoffs could've lost plenty of shootouts in the regular season. The shootout is here to end games before the playoffs begin, and it did just that on Sunday. No harm, no foul.
But is it really no harm, no foul? Did the shootout that ended Sunday's game really determine who the better team was? A game such as the one played on Sunday should have ended differently, just because of the special circumstance the winner goes into the playoffs. In my opinion, the shootout Sunday was the worst way possible to end the game. A "special" game like the one on Sunday, if the game is tied through regulation, should go to overtime. Sudden death. Golden goal. Whatever you may want to call it. It should not be decided through a skills competition. A gimmick. A show.
If the Rangers won, would I still have these feelings towards the way the game Sunday was decided? Yes. Would I be happy the Rangers won? Of course. However the Flyers shouldn't have their season be decided by a shootout. Neither should the Rangers, nor should any team. Watching the shootout on Sunday was like watching a shootout decide who wins the Stanley Cup. There was just too much on the line for a shootout to take place. Something has to be done to prevent an appalling finish such as the one witnessed Sunday. The NHL's "show for the fans" just determined who has the privilege of playing for the Stanley Cup. That is downright awful.