Trying to dispell a myth
There's a hot button issue around the league at current and around the blogosphere to match. It's an issue with the new NHL that points to either something that takes the thrill out of the game or is just considered a pain in the ass conclusion to games.
I think everyone has said something about the shootout that can be taken as a negative. Yet there are comparisons made trying to put down the shootout... It's an ill suited comparison that I'll try to explain here:
"Would you mind if they ended baseball games with home run derby's?"
Trying to associate the home run with scoring a goal is rather off base... Though both are personal monuments for players and both take a large (usually at least) physical effort to achieve, a goal being scored in a shootout is more comparable to free-throws in the NBA... And the baseball equivelent of ending games with a tie with a end-game competition would sooner be a strike-out battle between pitchers... or a "score a runner from first" dual between two teams offenses.
I am not trying to defend the shootout... Traditionalists reading this post should be able to point out that goals are supposed to have more weight in their occurances -- more meaning -- than free-throws in the NBA, and the shootout dilluting the meaning ofa goal seems sacriligious to some (if not many). I totally understand that in voicing disdain for the shootout... But the comparison just seems too ill to keep hearing from those against the very concept of the shootout. Goals are scored many ways in the NHL and runs are scored many ways in MLB -- the Home Run is above a simple scoring of a run... Much like the shorthanded or powerplay goals are treated above a standard goal...
Tom Jones in the Times suggests tweaking the shootout to make it comparable to international hockey play as if that'd tend the wounds of fans who don't care or the shootout at all.
Going back to the NBA free throw comparison / analogy... If people believe that power plays - the multitude being called, and power plays in general - kill the flow of games... Would a penalty shot in more instances be more interesting and less intrusive than 5-on-4 / 5-on-3 hockey happening numerous times a game?