There’s been a lot of discussions about shootouts in the NHL lately. Most come because of one player, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and how he takes his penalty attempts.
Kuznetsov is one of the most skilled shootout players in the league, and he often finds the back of the net with his shots. But the way he’s taking the shootouts has been driving goalies crazy, and many fans believe it’s gone too far.
It’s not unusual for players to take it slow during shootout attempts, but nobody does it as slowly as Kuznetsov. Sometimes, he barely moves forward, and although he isn’t breaking any rules, as he never stops himself or the puck from moving forward, many believe something needs to happen.
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time, and when he speaks his mind on something, everyone should listen. He’s not a big fan of Kuznetsov’s shootout technique. When asked what would happen if someone did that during his days, he responded:
”20 guys on the other team would’ve jumped over the boards. And if someone would’ve done it against us, 20 guys on our team would jump over the boards,” he said.
Wayne Gretzky also claimed that the NHL needs to take action, and he had a suggestion for the league.
”You got to protect the goalies, right? There should be a time clock. Eight, nine seconds. And if you can’t get there in eight seconds, you don’t deserve to be taking the shot!” Gretzky said.
At the moment, not many things point to the NHL instituting a shot clock, but all seem to agree that something needs to happen. There has been talk of the league extending the regular season three-on-three overtime to seven minutes. Today, it’s just five minutes, but two more minutes of play would mean fewer games deciding in a shootout.