The negatives of teams playing two, three or even more extra periods outweigh the positives. More people are complaining about multiple overtime games than are embracing them.
For the fan the journey between when overtime begins and a goal is scored is often less than pleasurable as the quality of play becomes very defensive and very conservative significantly diminishing the entertainment value of the game.
There are exceptions, but they are rare. The system isn't necessarily broken, but it could be improved for those involved -- players, fans, television networks, print media, and just about everyone who has a stake in the sport.
A flawed point of view
I understand the sense of urgency attached to sudden-death overtime has an appeal, but at some point that appeal becomes limited to only diehard hockey fans.
Those fans who favor machoism and competition to the bitter end are happy with the playoff overtime format. There are also some who don't favor messing with history and want to leave what they believe to be well enough alone. Some call them purists. I would call them conservatives.
It's true there are now penalties and power plays in overtime, but most of the power plays fail. In the first 21 power plays of the current playoffs only one goal was scored.
No matter how many power plays there are in overtime the nature of them is much more conservative than in regulation. That's due to the fear teams have of losing on a shorthanded goal. Power plays in overtime are not as fluid, and not as creative, and the degree of risk players are willing to take in an attempt to score goes way down.
The numbers indicate that power plays in overtime haven't quickened the end of games.
Why more is less
In most games the quality of play dips dramatically in overtime. In fact, the quality of play is brutal in many overtime periods. As extra time continues the play becomes more and more cautious and conservative. The entertainment value present in regulation decreases in overtime.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Multiple overtime games can affect the quality of play moving forward in a series especially if there are teams that have to travel long distances as well as play two or three extra periods. From a competitive perspective this is harmful.
For network television coverage in the United States, overtime games become a very difficult proposition. Networks want to make money not lose it. There are no commercials in overtime so the networks are not gaining additional revenue when games go extra periods.
Also when games go into overtime networks have to postpone or cancel other revenue-producing programming and that's not at all popular with television executives never mind the viewers who had planned on watching the progamming scheduled after a playoff game. Such a scenario provides one more opportunity for non-hockey viewers to bash the sport.
PHT: The Red Wings entered their series with the Blackhawks as massive underdogs. That's no longer the case after taking a 2-1 series lead Monday.
Video: NHL from NBC Sports
Highlights: Red Wings top Blackhawks in Game 3
The Detroit Red Wings returned home tied at one in their Western Conference semifinals series with the Chicago Blackhawks. After a physical, but scoreless first period that was dominated by the Blackhawks, the Red Wings jumped out to a two goal lead by scoring twice in 31 seconds. Detroit ended up winning the game 3-1 and now have a 2-1 lead in the series.
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