Last night's game got me thinking about the nature of the shootout and what it really means to the NHL. I was a huge fan of the shootout when it debuted. What could be more exciting than watching some of the most dynamic offensive players in the world being given a half sheet of nothing but ice to showcase their offensive skills, all the while using those skills to help their team to victory. The shootout doesn't come until after overtime, so the case can be made that teams have had their chance to win the game already and that anything is better for ratings than a tie, especially something that people had been demanding to see.
I know the only reason I don't like the shootout anymore is because it seems to have had a detrimental impact on the Wings this year, but my opinion didn't really sour until last night. The shootout rewards those with the best skill players, not those with the best team. What does that say? Should teams carry players on their roster simply because they have soft hands, forechecking be damned? It seems like a silly question, that the obvious answer is no, teams should carry guys that fit their system and play good all around games with a few exceptions, but think about this: if the Wings had won just half of the shootouts they've lost this year, they'd have 5 more points. Oh, and they'd be a secure 7th in the conference instead of 9th.
It frustrates me that teams that aren't as strong as others can pick up wins simply because they have shooters.