OK, admittedly, I’m not the biggest hockey fan. I maybe watch 5-10 hockey games a year, and rarely start to finish. Last night was no exception. I had plans to work out with my trainer (my newest mission to get healthy), so I got home in time to catch the last few seconds of regulation before overtime in the Can vs USA World Juniors gold medal game. Immediately upon turning on the game, I had the thought that I’m sure many did…. I sure hope this doesn’t go to a shootout.
Sadly, overtime solved nothing and to a shootout it went. Now many will say it is sour grapes, complaining about the shootout since we lost. Some will say that no one would gripe if we had won. To this I say BS. Win or Lose, shoot outs suck.
Now I get why the shoot out came in to play in hockey. During the long grind of a regular season, with TV contracts in play, dealing with multiple overtime periods was a headache, and they needed a solution. I still don’t like it (much like I don’t like 4 on 4 overtime) but I get it. But at least they had the sense to not do it in playoffs. Shoot outs decide the game without many aspects of what makes the game great. Great passing, great defense, great forecheck, etc. It brings it all down to a skills competition. Not something that should decide a championship. Everyone that played the game deserved better than that.
Consider other sports. Baseball…. imagine if they went to a HR derby after 1 extra inning. Curling…. if they decided the Brier on a draw to the button. Football…. sudden death field goal kicking. You can see where this is going. Imagine if a championship was decided in such a fashion? It is quite ridiculous.
I’m not taking away anything from the USA hockey team. Congrats to them. They may very well have won anyways, they were after all favored. But didn’t they deserve to win it during an actual period of hockey, like a great championship *team*?
All for now,
PS – Kudos to Team Canada on the great run and a silver medal. Before the tournament you would be hard pressed to find a hockey *expert* that had them winning it all. I think those boys have it tougher than any of the other teams, wearing the maple leaf on the front and carry the Canadian hockey expectations on their back. I would have loved the victory, but a silver medal is nothing to be disappointed about.