It's time to celebrate the best thing about the NHL playoffs, which begin tonight: No more regular-season overtime rules.
I'm not talking about shootouts. I laid out three fundamental principles for overtime when The Mag looked at how to fix rules across sports, and even though shootouts irritate some traditionalists, they pretty much satisfy all three. First, shootouts don't do a bad job of preserving the essential character of hockey while pushing games toward conclusive results. The skills involved in scoring on breakaway shots are much more central to overall hockey talent than, say, penalty-kick scoring is to soccer ability. And shootouts only come after a four-on-four, sudden-death OT period, anyway. Second, they're fair. Third, they're fun.
What's the real problem with NHL overtimes--and how can the league fix it? To find out, you must be an ESPN Insider.