The Last Moment is the Best Moment

Hockey Shootouts are Exciting. Don’t get rid of them


Olivia Kneeland

The Triton Hockey Team stands listening to the National Anthem before playing Boston Latin last season

One of the best moves ever made by the NHL was to add the shootout into hockey. The debate over getting rid of the hockey shootout. Many believed it should go but many see it as entertainment.

The shootout can determine who gets two points for the win and who gets one point for the loss. On December 19th, 2019 when the Boston Bruins went into the shootout with the New York Islanders and then ended up losing after three shots to each team. These points matter in a lot of different ways and brings many teams into the playoffs and eliminates the others that have the opportunity to make the playoffs. 

Since in the playoffs only eight teams from each conference make it, many could just miss.  Like in the 2016-2017 season when the Tampa Bay Lightning missed the playoffs by one point. If they had won that shootout they would’ve made the playoffs. Even though missing the playoffs doesn’t happen very often when it does, many think what it could have been.

One of the most exciting games ever went all the way into a shootout. After playing 60 minutes of regulation time and 5 minutes of overtime the United States and Russia went into a shootout to decide the winner. Even though this was the world championship tournament, the shootout was still the same. TJ Oshie (USA) and the Russian goaltender went one-on-one five times as well did the player for Russia and the goalie for the United States. After five rounds of back and forth goals on the sixth shot the US goalie made a tremendous save only to watch TJ Oshie score a five-hole goal for the fourth time in the shootout to win the game.

There is a downside to the shootout. When a team that might not have played good forces a shootout because their goalie played outstanding some say it’s not fair. Many fans, coaches, and players believe that the shootout is not a reflection of how a team plays the whole game and that it can be unfair if one team plays so good throughout the whole game to then only lose in the shootout. Others think a shootout is fun to watch and many players can be creative on their dekes towards the net. Like in 2011 when Martin St. Louis did a stop and then spun out in front of the net then shot the puck with his backhand. Some also believe that a shootout takes away from the spirit of hockey. “But on the other hand, shootouts offer edge-of-your-seat excitement that never wanes,” said Katie Carrera from the Washington Post

The shootout plays a huge role when it comes to points in hockey. Don’t get me wrong when it knocks a team out of the playoffs by one point it hurts just that much more. The shootout really defines the fun in hockey and it’s something that should never go away.