Don't reward losing teams

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I've been following hockey at all levels for over 60 years. I've coached amateur and high school teams for 25 years. Rule changes intend to better the game and are logical in their application. Except for one: The overtime shootout!

This rule awards losers! Name me another team sport that recognizes and rewards a loser. This has no place in hockey.

After 60 minutes of regulation time, five minutes of overtime is played. When a team loses in the extra frame it gets one point. If the game remains tied, a shootout is played and the loser of that retains the one point for extending the game.

I'm not for the game ending in a tie, as in the 'old days', but to reward a losing team anything but a loss in the league standings is stupid!

In the present system each team 'earns' and retains one point, but the shootout gives the winner an extra point.

Try this: If overtime is needed and a team wins, it gets two points and the loser gets one for taking the game to overtime. If overtime doesn't resolve anything, have the shootout winner get two points (like now) but the loser gets nothing.

Such a system would give teams chasing a playoff spot the chance to stay the same distance from a losing team, as opposed to the loser moving a bit further up in the standings.

If my competition loses, I lose. Is that logical? I think not!

Larry Koch, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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