Shootouts in hockey are lame. Yes, they are exciting. But they are also anti-climactic.
It's like if you are watching Star Wars, and right after Leia gives the medals to Han and Luke, Chewie took out a sword and cut her head off.
Tonight I saw my first regular season NHL shootout, and before it even started, I was thinking, "65 minutes of hard-fought hockey, and it comes down to this?" Six guys and two goalies isn't hockey. It's a sideshow.
Hockey is teamwork, offense and defense. If one team plays better as a team than the other, but the other has a better goalie or a better shooter, then the latter team has the advantage in the shootout.
People say they needed to get rid of ties. Maybe for marketing reasons, but I don't get it. They say people left unsatisfied when ties result. Good, they should, because it's a lame ending. But I don't feel satsified after a shootout, either. And not just because my team lost; if the Bruins had won, I'd have feel like we'd stolen a free point. Which is better I suppose, but not enough that it warrants screwing up the game.
Of course, it's not about the game. It's about marketing the game to people who don't already like it. And those people love shootouts, unfortunately.