James Mirtle (who I believe has something to do with SBN) wrote this post on the argument for extending the NHL's overtime period. Basically, Mirtle defers to stat-man Gabe Desjardins who breaks down what would happen if overtime were extended from five to ten minutes. Desjardins does calculations and figures that after a five minute overtime, the probability of us having a winner is 45%. However, after a ten minute overtime, the probability grows significantly to 70%.
To put this in different terms, increasing the overtime period from five to ten minutes dramatically increases our chances of the game not being decided by shootout.
Now I know this is something that people feel very strongly about. Some fans love the shootout and the excitement it brings to the game; others feel that it is a cheap way to determine the outcome of a game. After all, look at Mirtle's example in the article: the Oilers last year went into 19 shooutouts. Yeah, that's right, 19. And they won 14 of them. That's 14 points right there that the Coilers got in 2007-2008 shootouts. Our Canucks went into 14 shootouts last year; we won 6 of them. Interestingly enough, our beloved Canucks finished just 3 points away from qualifying for the playoffs.
So, should the NHL consider extending the overtime period and reduce the number of shooutouts? Or is the current format alright?