Shootout woes

Team Canada against Team Russia in the world junior hockey championships tournament was a great game last night.

Too bad it ended so poorly.

In a game that was full of back and forth lead changes, shaky goaltending and great offensive plays, the ending left a lot to be desired.

When Canada scored to tie the game with five seconds left, the group of people I was with went crazy. During overtime, we were all on the edge of our seats.

Then, after the 10-minute overtime, we all sat back, and weren’t excited anymore.

There wasn’t any more cheering, no more excitement.

All because they went to a shootout. After Canada won, the comments around the room weren’t the most flattering.

“It’s not exciting.”

“It’s not even the same game.”

“It’s kind of lame we have to win like this.”

It’s kind of sad, really. Hopefully, the NHL realizes this and never lets a shootout become part of the playoffs.

As for the game itself, Canada got lucky. They didn’t deserve to win the game. The Russians took it to them. Canada’s goaltending was suspect. The defence was off. And the reffing was horrendous.

Canada had nine powerplay chances in the first two periods, and their only goal was at the end of a 5 on 3. Russia had two powerplays in the first two minutes.

It was a game we deserved to lose. And one that we won with no excitement.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Shootout woes

  1. blair

    I think we watched two different games.
    The Canada-Russia match I saw was exciting right until the end — just because nobody scored in overtime doesn’t mean it wasn’t thrilling to watch.
    Yes, to some degree Canada was lucky, but luck is a factor in many games.
    Teams make their own luck through their play.
    You’re way off base saying Canada didn’t deserve to win the game.
    Yes Russia played their hearts out for most of the game, and were up 5-4 with only a few seconds left in the third period.
    But one Tavares-backhanded assist and an Eberle-deke and snipe later, the game was tied.
    Wasn’t an accident.
    No divine intervention.
    I guess you could argue the Canadians were lucky they had skilled players on the ice who were able to convert their ability into a thrilling last second goal.
    Or that the Canadians were lucky they played better than the Russians in the game’s dying seconds.
    But isn’t that how you win hockey games?
    Team Canada didn’t play their best game.
    And it’s true our defence and goaltending were suspect at times.
    But just because Team Canada had trouble on the powerplay and didn’t perform their best doesn’t mean they deserved to lose.
    It was a game Canada deserved to win — by virtue of scoring more goals than the other team, and by virtue of showing they wanted it more, by scoring a miracle-goal with only seconds left to play.
    And it was one of the most exicitng World Junior Championship games we have witnessed in the tournament’s history.
    Are you telling me you weren’t on the edge of your seat during overtime as both teams traded scoring chances?
    If so you are one tough man to please.

  2. Graham

    I could agree with no shootout in the semi-final game or gold medal game no prob. But in the quarter final game I still think there needs to be a shootout. Because the winning team of the QF needs to play less than 24 hrs later. If they had just endured a 4 OT game the night before, the semi-final game would be a no contest bore with one team over exhausted. I suppose one option is to increase the breaks between the games but that would lengthen the tournament and I’m not sure if that’s a viable option…

  3. newfcollins

    Blair, re-read the post. I said the game and overtime was exciting, but the shootout wasn’t.

    You asked, “Are you telling me you weren’t on the edge of your seat during overtime as both teams traded scoring chances?”

    I wrote, “During overtime, we were all on the edge of our seats.”

    The game was very exciting, and as I wrote, was a great game. It’s the shootout portion I have trouble with and really took away from a great finish.

    As for the lucky portion, that’s a different debate, but I think even Eberle knows it was lucky. From a quote from him about the tying goal in a TSN article: “It was a 6-on-5 and just scrambling hockey. You just throw the puck at the net and hope something happens.”

    You can win the game and not deserve to. Unless you’re willing to admit that every hockey game you’ve ever seen, the losing team never deserved to win. Ever.

  4. blair

    “It was a game we deserved to lose. And one that we won with no excitement.”

    Sorry, you did say we were on edge of seats during overtime. I guess, I was confused by your above statement — because the ending was exciting.

    I was on the “edge of my seat” watching the shootout.
    Also, the reason we won the game was because Team Canada tied it late in the third period.
    My point is that this was a thrilling game to watch from start to finish.
    That includes the shootout portion — you might not like shootouts, but I doubt you were bored watching it.
    I don’t understand why you say Team Canada deserved to lose the game.
    Did they cheat?
    Did they score phantom goals?

  5. Minorkle

    I wasn’t paying attention…who won?

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