I hate the shootout in the NHL. I hate that two teams can go toe-to-toe for 65 minutes, and at the end have the winner determined by the hockey equivalent of a coin flip. I hate that an individual skills competition bearing zero relation to the hockey game that preceded it is the decider of said hockey game. And I hate that the Dallas Stars have lost more shootouts than they've won.

That was yesterday though. Today I LOVE the shootout in the NHL. Who could not? Or rather, I should say, what Dallas Stars fan could not love it after last night? After Vern Fiddler seemingly ended the shootout in the most ignominious way, but then miraculously got back to his feet and carried the puck in to score and tie the shootout. And then Tyler Seguin on the following shot made it all oh so worth it...

On the other front last night, the Phoenix Coyotes managed to tie the game against the Blue Jackets with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. But Columbus got the game winner in overtime, and the 'Yotes have now lost five straight, although they've still garnered points in three of those. And hey, before anyone says anything along the lines of ‘The Stars just need to take care of their own business and then they won't have to worry about the Coyotes,' all I can say is yes. I am in complete agreement with you. Heck, I was preaching that before the season even began. And then the Stars dropped the season-opener and I thought, ‘Welp, we're gonna have to hope another couple Central Division teams lose at least one game this season.'

Point being, that until that 82-0 season happens, every team watches the standings. You think St. Louis fans don't cheer when the Bruins, Ducks, or Avs lose? And while the allure of a meaningless President's Trophy (the trophy being meaningless, not the President) or the potential for home-ice advantage later on in the playoffs isn't quite as crucial as being in the playoffs at all, every team still needs a little help from the opposition.