Is the Shootout worthwhile in the NHL?
I say no. It is far better to simply allow the two teams to keep the tie if no one can win a game after an extra period of play. As it is, everytime a game goes to overtime, both teams are guaranteed at least one point simply for going to overtime.
In my opinion, the shootout and the one point for going to overtime are simply not required for the NHL – and other leagues (for example, the football leagues in Europe) allow for teams to accept a tie during the regular season, and if you lose in extra time (i.e. overtime) you do not receive any points at all.
The shootout is also controversial – some teams are better at it than others are. Also, only one goal counts during the shootout – the one that actually wins the game. So, if a team wins the shootout 4-3, then only the fourth goal is official. Therefore, if the game went to the shootout in a 3-3 tie, instead of a 7-6 win, it would be declared a 4-3 result. This simply is not fair to all the players that scored during the shootout. A goal is a goal and should be awarded as such if you are going to use a shootout.
Then there is the issue of receiving a point for heading to overtime/shootout. If a team plays to a tie after a full 60 minutes in every game, the team would be guaranteed 82 points (one point for overtime in every single game of the season.) So there is no incentive to play for a win then. Just play for overtime and if you then lose who cares, you still walk away with a point.
So, I’d like to see the shootout eliminated, and all for ties. The NHL should keep the current system of one period of 4-on-4, and then award a tie if no one scores in overtime. But, the NHL could give 3 points for a win, and only 1 point for a tie. Plus no points would be awarded if a team losses in overtime. This would give an incentive for teams to win.