CHICAGO — Jonathan Toews owns the NHL record for most career shootout goals with 50, a mark he reached Saturday against the Panthers, but the Blackhawks captain would rather see tie games settled in overtime.
Toews and Patrick Kane both scored in Saturday’s shootout victory in Florida, but both have said they would like to see the 3-on-3 overtime extended from five minutes to 10.
“I’m right there with him,” Toews said after the morning skate before Tuesday night’s game against the Ducks at the United Center. “And the shootout, we can end it.
“I can be the all-time leader and that’ll be it,” joked Toews, who passed the Red Wings’ Frans Nielsen (49). “We’ll turn the page on that. I like 3-on-3 as well.”
The NHL instituted shootouts starting in the 2005-06 season for games tied after overtime. Eighty-two games have been decided via shootout this season, according to hockey-reference.com, and the Hawks are 4-4 record in such games.
They are 5-4 in games decided in overtime.
Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton also likes the idea of extending the 3-on-3 extra sessions.
“It would be fun,” he said. “Everyone loves the five-minute 3-on-3. Probably have to lengthen your bench as far as how many guys you’re using. Definitely an exciting time of the game.”
The natural next question becomes whether eliminating shootouts would bring back ties.
Toews said it shouldn’t come to that.
“Eventually someone’s going to score in 3-on-3,” he said. “Someone gets tired, there’s a 2-on-1, pucks go back and forth. So I think that’s a good way to finish it.
“I think fans like watching that too. Some nights you play a great game, you can’t find a way to score 3-on-3, you lose in a shootout and you feel like you should have won the game.”
Shootouts aren’t going away for now, though, so Toews and Kane, who ranks third all time with 47 shootout goals, will keep doing what has worked for them so well.
Toews said it comes down to “keeping it simple and … really bearing down and keeping that focus. And it’s nice to be able to convert in some of these big games that we need points.”
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