I'm a fan of the shootout. I know that puts me in the category of NHL outcast, but so be it. I enjoy the skills competition.
I did not enjoy the shootout in Toronto on Saturday night between the Winnipeg Jets and the Toronto Maple Leafs. That's because it wasn't really a skills competition at all. Don't they need to show some actual skill for that to be the case?
With two of the first four shots going in, it was all silent from there. Perhaps silent is the wrong word; the players were clanking pipe after pipe.
Eventually, Zach Bogosian came along to save everybody from witnessing anymore in Round 10 when he whistled one past James Reimer for the 5-4 Winnipeg win. The only benefit of it going further at that point was to see guys like Colton Orr having to take their attempt in Round 15 or so.
If you feel so inclined, you can watch the entire shootout above.
It's funny because the game itself was wide open and highly entertaining, full of offense. The second period alone had six goals, with the Jets taking a 4-1 lead after trailing 1-0 at the end of one. The Leafs saved face by scoring twice before the end of the period and then get an equalizer in the third from Phil Kessel.
Interestingly enough, the Leafs have a guy who's not bad in the shootout named Mikhail Grabovski. Through the 10 rounds that the Leafs trotted a player onto the ice for an attempt, Grabovski didn't appear. Dion Phaneuf got a chance before Grabovski.
Grabovski has shown a lot more skill before than what we saw in a largely dekeless shootout on Saturday. Remember his spin-o-rama?
The long shootout was exciting to at least one person, though: Jets owner Mark Chipman. Perhaps that's because with the two points, the Jets moved into the lead in the Southeast Division by one point over Carolina, which lost at Tampa Bay. If the playoffs started now, there would be a game in Winnipeg to start a series.