Friday, April 13, 2007

"I think we should stop analysing everything about the game"

Add the title, Philosopher king to Roberto Luongo's impressive resume.

The Vancouver Canuck goaltender, who having faced 76 shots on Wednesday/Thursday, perhaps might have had the most to complain about after that marathon four over time performance of Wednesday night.

But Roberto dismisses any talk of change and says to leave the overtime format just the way it is. Luongo was just one of many who offered up an opinion after the close to 140 minutes of play. Despite tired, aching bodies and bouts of dehydration to boot, there was no call for a shoot out to settle those games that go beyond the sixty minute norm.

Rather it was the talk of history and how the game was designed that became their talking points, no need to change a thing they opined, some of the most exciting hockey and greatest finishes come about in the second or third overtime.

Let it be as it is seems to be the consensus. The NHL would be wise to listen to its players...

Winnipeg Sun
Thursday, April 13, 2007

VANCOUVER -- They hobbled around on sore legs and spoke about needing intravenous treatments between periods.

After playing in the sixth-longest game in NHL history, players with the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks talked yesterday about the mystique of the playoffs and what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

No one said anything about changing the overtime format for playoff games.

"It's kind of the mystique of winning the game and going through all those battles," said Dallas's Stu Barnes. "It's hard to mess with the integrity of that."

The Canucks needed almost four overtimes to defeat the Stars 5-4 in the opening game of the Western Conference quarter-final series, which began Wednesday night and ended early yesterday morning. Henrik Sedin scored the winning goal at 18:06 of the game's seventh period.
Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo, who faced a record 76 shots in his first career playoff game, bristled at any suggestion the game was too long.

A playoff tradition

"I think we should stop analysing everything about the game,' said Luongo. "That's the way it was intended to be.

"A game like last night will go down in history so I don't see why we would change anything like that."

If regular-season games are tied after 60 minutes of play, teams have a five-minute, sudden-death overtime with four players each on the ice.

If no one scores, the game is decided by a shootout.

"I don't want to see a shootout in overtime," said Vancouver captain Markus Naslund. "It they were going to do something maybe go down to four-on-four."

Other players around the league agreed changing overtime would be like slicing 100 miles off the Indianapolis 500.

"I think that's what makes the playoffs unique," Senators star Dany Heatley said in Ottawa. "It's a tradition and it's been that way forever.

"That's what makes it unique. Some of the greatest goals in history have been scored in two or three overtimes so that would be a tough thing to take away from the game."

Gary Meagher, the NHL's vice-president of public relations, said changing the playoff overtime format has been discussed at the league level "in a very general way."

The one thing that could alter that thinking is if there were several marathon overtime games in one Stanley Cup playoff, which could endanger the health of players.

"If you were ever to change it, you would have to be making it for a good reason," said Meagher from Toronto.

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