Sunday, May 27, 2007

Overtime Formats

I fully agree with what Dan Wetzel says here:
"Every single game ends in true, ultimate sudden death (or victory if you're an optimist). At any moment, a bounce of the puck, a quick break, a slap shot with eyes, a turnover, or anything at all can win or lose the game. Nothing is safe, nothing is routine, nothing can let you breath easy.

"There is never a quarterback taking a knee to set up a field goal. There is never the relief of knowing when your team is at bat, it can't be scored upon.

"In hockey, teams are almost always on both offense and defense at the exact same time. Momentum means nothing. You can have five minutes of sustained pressure on offense and lose in the blink of an eye at the other end of the ice.

"Fans literally scream in horror, like they are watching a car wreck, when play gets too close to the net of their team.

"It's unique and special and spectacular.

"And yet, the NHL might want to tinker with it, gimmick it up and get it over with sooner?"

The sudden death overtime is one of the most thrilling aspects of play-off hockey, and the fact is only a few games have more than one. In any given year, chances are overwhelming no such game will even be on a national network that doesn't specialize in sports. The one change I might support is going to a four-on-four system at a given point, as the wear on the players and declining skills as they grow increasingly tired is a legitimate point.



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