Your Turn, and Again, and Again
If the IIHF hadn’t already done everything in their power to enrage hockey purists around the globe then they certainly have now. Anyone who watched yesterday’s Canada-USA semi final match up at the World Junior Championships already knows exactly what I’m eluding to. From no touch icings to mandatory visors for all players born after 1974, many of the IIHF’s unique rules are frowned upon by hockey purists but accepted nonetheless. However the IIHF’s new shootout format, which permits the same player to take multiple shots in a single shootout, has taken things too far.
In case deciding a game of immense magnitude in such an individualistic manner wasn’t already bad enough, now the IIHF has taken the very last semblances of team play out of the shootout. As one TSN broadcaster so aptly put it later in the evening “Towes beat Mueller 3-2 in the shootout as Canada beat the US 2-1 to advance to the gold medal game.”
Not only does this format kill any chance at a team effort (if you can even call it that) in the shootout, but it erases the chance of an unsung hero emerging and getting his 15 minutes of fame. Like the shootout or not, there is not a hockey fan in the world who witnessed Malik’s goal in the Caps-Rags marathon last season who doesn’t secretly hope for a similar occurrence every time a game is tied after regulation.
Mr. Fasel, if you’re reading this, for the sake of hockey please do something about this abhorrent way to decide games.