With the NHL playoffs underway we can once again enjoy real sudden-death (sudden-life?) overtime. No more four skaters on four and no more shoot-outs. Games will be decided by actually playing the game, not just one or two aspects of it – until a final outcome is achieved.
Why regular season ties are so repugnant I have never understood, but I believe that if the NHL is determined that no game shall end in a tie, they should take a look at baseball. As the grand-daddy of tie breaking, baseball does it right: if the score is tied after regulation, they keep going until it is broken, but they do so by playing the very same rules all the way. There are three strikes and three outs in the 17th inning, just as there were in the seventh. They don’t play first-third and home; and they don’t have a home run derby to decide the outcome.
As far as I’m concerned let regular season hockey games end in ties, just like they used to. But if there is a great lobby to decide games, then please do so by playing the game. I’ll even go out on a limb and suggest that if a seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final ends in a tie after 60 minutes, replay the whole game a couple of days later as was the case with the FA Cup final in England until the mid-90s. A championship shouldn’t be decided by an exhausted player’s error. The team owners get another sell out and the fans get another game. The players…well let’s give them a replay bonus.