Shoot This

Posted by: adamw

As we hype ourselves up for the World Junior Championship final, I can only think back to that great New Year’s Eve game and how it was determined by a shootout.

In the gold medal game, the teams will go to shootout after a 20-minute OT, if need be.

The amount of great International games that have been ruined by shootout are unfortunately numerous, none worse than the 1994 Olympic gold medal game between Canada and Sweden. Shootouts f@#$%%^ stink.

Of course, this is nothing new. I’ve hated on shootouts for 20 years. But this gives me an excuse to publish my favorite quote on shootouts ever, from St. Lawrence quipster/head coach Joe Marsh, at last year’s ECAC tournament. St. Lawrence and Princeton played a shootout in the consolation game. St. Lawrence needed to win the game to get in the NCAAs. Officially, it was a tie. SLU won the shootout, which some fans didn’t realize was meaningless. At least in that case, it was actually meaningless. But when asked about after, Marsh riffed:

It would’ve probably been just as meaningful for (Princeton coach) Guy (Gadowsky) and I to go out and have a quick round of canasta at center ice.

(But) it gives me an opportunity to comment — nothing against the (ECAC’s) decision to do it — but it isn’t hockey. The thing that will always stick out in my mind was the Olympics being decided on a shootout. Canada vs. Sweden (1994), who wouldn’t want that game to go to overtime? I think Lillehammer Industrial League was renting out the ice and they had to get off.

It’s not hockey. Imagine Tiger Woods and Chris DeMarco ended the Masters in a playoff with a putting contest in the miniature golf course down the street. It’s B.S. But that’s how strongly I feel about shootouts. I guess the fans like it, but let’s not forget, the fans also like the integrity of the game.

We had to win. And what’s confusing to our fans is I think some of them think we did. So now when we’re not travelling to go play somewhere next weekend, they’re going to be wondering what the heck happened. They’re going to think, “Did we forget to board passage or what?” I’m just not in favor of it. Maybe I’m an anachronism, but I’ll just never be a fan of it.

I don’t want to see it creep in. We talk about how it’s exciting to the fans, but — is this going to be about marketing all the time? No one’s going to be able to sell me on it. I’m not going to be around much longer anyone. I’m going down with the ship. I’m going to look like the guys in the orchestra when the Titanic went down, playing the same old tune.

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