I've been observing, for quite a while, this blog's jeering the very idea of the shootout for weeks now. I have a lot of respect for the opinions of most people who post here, too. Though it's entertaining to poke holes in this part of the game after every loss it results in for the Flyers, I think it's time this organization changed it's tune.
While I actually enjoy the shootout and welcome it's addition and implementation to the game in recent years, I recognize that my opinion is not a popular one and can see the other side of the argument. I don't believe it matters, though. This "skills competition" that supposedly has no place deciding a game played by 5 men for 65 minutes prior has decided many important games this season and will continue to regardless of your opinion of it; regardless of Peter Laviolette's opinion of it.
Field goal kicking is a part of football. As a hard fought game between big, strong and fast athletes comes to an end, a 170 pound white guy with long sleeves and cool kicks trots out onto the field to decide which team goes home for the winter. That doesn't sound fair. It probably isn't fair to most people. Most people don't even regard kicking as a part of football. It doesn't matter to most coaches, players or fans. Do you know who it does matter to? The NFL, and when that kick sails to the left of the uprights, a "w" is recorded and an "L" is recorded before they turn out the lights and go home.
You may think that the shootout is absurd. You may think it has no place in the game, doesn't properly measure which team played better, etc. I would even bet that the Flyers' organization has agreed with you until recently. But that needs to change. Maybe the shootout is not a part of hockey, but the shootout is definitely a part of the NHL.
So I propose we settle down on the undressing of the shootout, stop turning our noses up at it, dismissing it as a joke because that same attitude in the Flyers organization has directly led to a lower standing in our division; had a DIRECT effect on our W/L record and THAT is everything. It is everything. Let's get better at this part of the game and put more stock into it (just a little more). Peter, have some shootout practices. Find out who's good at it on the team, have a plan. Like it or not, the shootout is a part of the game you play.
I do think we are making strides. Lavy went with the second shot last game so he is at least putting some thought into it. We need to keep this up. Let's take this weakness and make it a strength; let's use it as a weapon to steal some games rather than give them away. What do you say, BSH? Can we and the shootout make amends?