How does it make you feel when you see a player taking his time to score during the shootout?
Maybe you welcome that dilly-dallying to intimidate the goalie?
Well the NHL’s greatest living player definitely feels the former and he’s not afraid to say it.
What’s more, he’s got a radical idea which he thinks will force players to focus on scoring rather than scaring the goalie.
SHOOTOUT SHOT CLOCKS
The NHL G.O.A.T Wayne Gretzky has suggested that the league has to take action against time-wasting and intimidation of goalies during penalties but introducing a timed shot-clock.
The aim of the clock will effectively force shot takers to make their penalty shot within a set amount of time. That he feels with protect goalies and stop players dragging out the process.
‘You got to protect the goalies, right? There should be a time clock. Eight, nine seconds. And if you can’t get there in eight seconds, you don’t deserve to be taking the shot!’
Why Shot Clocks?
Gretzky’s venom was spilt during a panel discussion on NHLonTNT show recently and it was directed at Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The Washington Capitals Forward is one of the NHL’s notoriously slow penalty takers and has built a reputation for annoying fans, goalies and teams with his antics.
Currently he has a 44.07% success rate with penalty shots 26 in 59 attempts. That places him 37th on the Top 50 list of takers.
One of his slowest shootouts was the 16 seconds he took to put the puck past Ilya Sorokin during the Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders game at the end of March.
Islanders would win the game on penalties.
‘[If we had had done that] 20 guys on the other team would’ve jumped over the boards. And if someone would’ve done it against us, 20 guys on our team would jump over the boards,” Gretzky said.
Will the NHL Change the Rule?
While there’s agreement on something needing to change right now, there’s little to show that the NHL will introduce a shot-clock.
For now, the NHL seems more interested in expanding the three-on-three Overtime segment from five minutes to seven. That should help reduce the number of games reaching a shootout.
Some of the top players currently playing would agree with that.
The Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid is actually in favour of extending the Overtime to 10 minutes saying that many players dislike the Shootout.
‘I would like that. No one loves the shootout. It’s a crappy way to finish a game. At the end of the day, it’s about the players’ health and safety. It’s a long season.
‘The overtime taxes a lot of guys. Making that longer could have some effects there, but I agree with you in the sense that no one wants to see the game end in a shootout.’
So does Crosby
Speaking to Pittsburgh Hockey Now, Sidney Crosby agreed saying, ‘Yeah, I’d play with ties. It’s not great, but with a 10-minute three-on-three, I’d like to think that (somebody would usually win in that span).
‘It just gets hard, though, if you put ties back in. Late in the year it’s going to create issues because teams are going to have to make up points, and they’re going to have to pull their goalie in overtime to try to avoid a tie. And then it’s going to throw everything off.’
Teams would play smarter
The Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson was also asked and he felt such a time expansion has it’s challenges too.
‘It’s not really a team effort when you win in the shootout. It comes down to an individual and this is a team sport.
‘I think if you add a 10-minute overtime, usually there should be a goal by then because there are so many good players in this league that can make plays, but obviously we can’t play three-on-three until one goal goes in because it’s an 82-game season.
‘It would be hard, but also, you wouldn’t max out the first five minutes, so maybe teams would play smarter.’