No team in the NHL has won more games in the shootout this season than the Washington Capitals. Eight of their 19 victories have come in what many hockey people simply refer to as "the skills competition" that comes after teams have played 60 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime without resolution.

So, what does coach Adam Oates think about the shootout?

"I don't believe in them," he said after a pregame skate before their game Monday against the Anaheim Ducks at Verizon Center. "I know the fans like it, but that's because it has kind of a carnival effect. I mean, I get it. It's in the rules, but maybe because I never played with it, I don't really like it very much."

Oates' Hall of Fame career as a player ended in 2004, just before the NHL adopted the shootout in 2005 at the end of the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season. Finding a way to avoid ties was one of several ways the league attempted to lure fans back to the game. In a sense, the shootout has worked. Fans love them, and players today, while seeing its flaws, don't seem to have the issues with it that hockey traditionalists do.

"It's the way of hockey now, so you might as well embrace it," Troy Brouwer said. "Plus, it's fun. If someone's watching TV and flipping around and they come to a hockey game and it's going to shootout, they stop and watch. When you're in one, it's fun, too, whether you're shooting or cheering on your teammates or your goalie. I like it."

The shootout isn't going away because it is fun and because fans like it. But some believe it plays much too big a role. There has been talk about extending overtime -- perhaps playing five minutes of three-on-three if four-on-four for five minutes doesn't produce a winner. Many in hockey also believe -- very quietly -- the points system should be changed.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/penguins/2013/12/26/NHL-coaches-players-not-always-fans-of-shootout/stories/201312260122#ixzz2oaxYXMjw