Everyone who watches hockey knows that a second overtime period would be much better than the shootout. But the NHL hasn’t gone for this yet, perhaps because it worries that fans still like the shootout, or perhaps because the players don’t want additional overtime periods that would increase their workload and risk of injury.
If either of these are the reason why we still have shootouts instead of second overtimes, then here are a few alternative ideas that might overcome these objections:
- No players who played in 1st OT are allowed to play in the 2nd OT
The top-line players who play in OT would now not have to worry about working more or getting injured in a 2nd OT. Instead, the third and fourth line players, who otherwise rarely get a chance to play in OT, would get a chance to shine.
- Lower the minimum number of shooters in the shootout from 3 to 1
A one-shooter minimum shootout would be over more quickly, which is a good thing because the shootout is anti-climactic and relatively boring. It would also be more exciting, since it would put more pressure on the shooter and make each shot attempt more important.
- Finally, and perhaps the most gimmicky, but nevertheless my favourite: have the goalie wear gloves on both hands, and not carry a goalie stick, in 2nd OT.
This is what bandy and field hockey goalies do. It too would tend to make the game end more quickly, and would probably lead to more highlight-reel saves