The best part of the Jets making the playoffs may not be longer overtimes and no shootouts, but those are definitely perks.
I like the shootout. I like the highlights it produces. I like the intensity I feel watching a shootout and, most of all, I like that one team is a winner at the end of the game.
Because ties suck.
Ties are my biggest beef with soccer. If I’m going to sit down and watch a 90-minute match, it better not end in a 0–0 tie. At least there aren’t any draws in the knockout stage. But to anyone who complains about the shootout in hockey, there’s no way you can tell me penalty kicks are any better. At least in hockey, a Stanley Cup could never be won in a shootout.
The NFL has an interesting overtime procedure. In playoffs, the teams play until there is a winner. Plain and simple. But during the regular season, if two teams are tied after 60 minutes, they play an extra quarter. If neither team scores by the end of the extra quarter, the game ends in a tie. Do you know what sucks more than a game end¬ing in a tie? Overtime ending in a tie.
Baseball’s got the right idea: play extra innings until someone’s a winner. Sure, the games can go on forever, but extra innings are exciting, just like any other playoff game that goes to overtime.
The only thing I like better than the shootout for settling a tie is sudden death overtime. I was excited to hear that next year, the NHL will implement an additional 3-on-3 overtime if ties aren’t settled during the current five-minute 4-on-4 overtime.
Some GMs are pushing to have a seven-minute 3-on-3 overtime instead of the expected five.
On one hand, seven minutes means even more overtime, but on the other hand, seven is such a strange number. After all, I only change the volume on my TV in increments of five.
“What do you mean the TV is on 13?”
Either way, I’m pro overtime, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
I’ve heard people say the players will get tired skating extra minutes, but really, the only person who’ll be tired is me since I’ll have to stay up later to watch the end of the game. This isn’t my beer league team I’m talking about — these guys have a heavier workout plan than lifting chicken wings.
And if you think 3-on-3 is changing the game too much, you know what else breaks tradition? Wearing a helmet.
• • •
Jordan Haslbeck is a reporter for Bison Sports and a mediocre beer-league hockey defenseman. He co-hosts Not Even the Press Box, a weekly radio show about the Winnipeg Jets at radio.rrc.ca.