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Red Wings’ Babcock: ‘Shootouts are killing us’

Nov 18, 2013, 10:04 AM EDT

New York Islander' Frans Nielsen (51) shoots the puck past Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson (50) to score in a shootout of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Uniondale, N.Y. The Islanders won on Nielsen's goal 5-4 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) AP

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said there’s interest among his peers to extend the length of the overtime period in an effort to reduce the number of shootouts. He probably wishes that such a change had been implemented for the 2013-14 campaign.

Detroit is on a six-game losing streak and its last three games have ended with a shootout. They’ve now been unsuccessful in four shootout attempts this season.

“It’s pretty obvious we got to win in regulation because the shootouts are killing us,” coach Mike Babcock told the Detroit News.

There’s no single reason for their struggles. Jimmy Howard has a .429 save percentage in the skills competition compared to a career .710.

Jonas Gustavsson held the Islanders to one goal during Saturday’s shootout, but they still lost because of the other half of Detroit’s issue. Daniel Alfredsson is the only Red Wings player that’s managed to find the back of the net. Pavel Datsyuk, who has traditionally been one of the NHL’s best players in that regard, has failed in four attempts this season.

“It’s like anything in life, it gets in your head a little bit,” Babcock said. “To me, we got to be hard-headed. We got to be mentally tough and we just got to bring it to a table.”

Those four extra points would have been enough to propel the Red Wings into first place in the Atlantic Division. They’ll try to end their losing streak on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.

  1. thethorntonstrokes - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    The shootout method is awful. Important regular season games are being decided by a gimmick, a mini game. Can’t wait till the shootout is phased out

  2. joey4id - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Get rid of shoot outs. The entertainment value doesn’t outweigh the consequences they have on a team’s standings.

    • babykaby - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:29 AM

      Funny. Just because your team can’t win one, we should get rid of the shootout. Give me a break. It is entertaining and that is what draws the crowd. Look around, Bozo, all things change, including sports. Football, basketball, the list goes on, has enacted changes for the betterment of the game, player safety and entertainment enhancement. You need to come out of the dark ages, bud, there are no longer only six teams in the league.

      • joey4id - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:01 AM

        babybaby,I agree that it is very entertaining, but I don’t like the fact that it’s used to determine a winner.


        Bozo *<:o)

  3. hosewater2 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Now if we can just get the Rangers to go on record as being against shootouts, they will change the rules and get rid of them for next year. We all know how this works.

  4. mshantz22 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I say keep the shootout and only give the teams 1 point.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      wait, give BOTH teams 1 point regardless? yes, because what we need is more MEANINGLESS shootouts.

      • mshantz22 - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        It’s better than ending the game in a tie or having indefinite overtime.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        lol but that IS a tie. just because you CALL them the winner doesn’t mean they won anything.

  5. LampyB - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Seems like theres been a huge increase in shootouts this year, every day theres multiple games that get there. Really starting to piss me off

    Teams dominate for 60+ mins, let in a weak goal and never have a chance to come back. The weak team ends up winning a deke contest its garbage.

  6. pwshrugged - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    No argument for shootouts here; it’s ludicrous that games are decided by a skills competition, and it’s a whole other argument that the NHL messed up in creating the “3-point game” to begin with.

    But as far as Babcock goes, maybe he needs to get a little less hard-headed and a little more creative. The Red Wings look absolutely feeble in shoot-outs, but he continues to trot the same 3-5 guys (depending on who’s injured or not) out every time. Goalies are seeing the guys they expect to see. It’d be nice to see Babs get creative and throw someone like Tatar or Helm out once in awhile just to mix it up. He’s a wizard with line combinations, so his reluctance to make changes on the shootout is disappointing.

    Then again, maybe he’s thinking more about Team Canada than the Red Wings right now.

  7. thesportsjudge - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    So their (what) $6 million dollar goalie is costing them points?

  8. tdrusher225 - Nov 18, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    He’s right but honestly, shootout losses don’t even count in my view. It’s nice to get the extra point, but if you’re losing these games in shootouts it’s nothing to hang your head about.

  9. hockeydon10 - Nov 18, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Part of the problem is the OT “period”.

    5 minutes is too short and it’s too easy to just grind it out aiming for the shootout.

    Make it the long change like 2nd period. Make it 10 minutes.

    Then, if it’s still tied, go to shootout BUT, shootout winner only gets one point. No loser point for OT. No loser point for the shootout.

    If I were dictator in charge of the NHL, I’d also change OT penalties. Make it coaches choice to either take the PP, or let the guy who was fouled take a penalty shot. This way if a grinder gets fouled the coach can take the PP hoping his more skilled players can get the job done where the grinder probably couldn’t get a penalty shot to go in if he bribed the goalie.

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