Flyers Anouncer Jim Jackson On Why He Loves the Shootout

Flyers Anouncer Jim Jackson On Why He Loves the Shootout

With the Flyers in the midst of a club record four consecutive games decided by shootout, you may have noticed that I've aired a few of my grievances with the NHL's
method for breaking tied games. However, we recognize that many people
do enjoy a shootout, and even more despise a game ending in a tie. Last
April, I met Flyers play-by-play announcer Jim Jackson
on the field at Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies were to host
the Nationals in their 2010 home opener. The night before, the Flyers
had clinched a playoff spot after beating the Rangers in a shootout,
and I couldn't help but ask him what it was like to call that game. I
was glued to his every word about calling the clinching save by Brian
Boucher, as well as how much he enjoys the shootout's place in hockey.
So today, we have asked JJ to share why he loves the shootout. These
are his words. --Matt P.


By Jim Jackson

Ahhh, the shootout. It’s been
around now for nearly six full NHL seasons, and still, its mere mention
can stir the most intense argument. It has become to hockey what the
designated hitter has been to baseball for so many years—an absolute hot
button topic.

Count me in support of shootouts. The most basic reason for this is
because evidence suggests, despite all of the debate on the subject,
that fans, in general, like it. What evidence you say? For one,
observations at rinks during shootouts. I have yet to witness one where
fans aren’t standing and fully engrossed in the one-on-one competition
between shooter and goalie.

More evidence? Take a look at television ratings. There is almost
always a significant spike in viewership when a game goes to the
shootout. It seems even the marginal hockey fans are attracted to them.
In addition, shootouts make for great video clips on all the sports
shows at the end of the night in local markets as well as nationally,
which gives our sport more exposure.

Yes, it seems, the shootout generates plenty of interest. Yet, there
are the sometimes boisterous detractors. The most common complaint I
hear is that it’s a gimmick and not really part of the game. Thus, it
shouldn’t decide the winner of a hotly contested battle between two

I don’t buy it. The basic object of hockey is for a shooter to beat a
goalie. Yes, when at full strength, teamwork and pretty passing plays
are things of beauty. But in the end, it’s about a player getting the
puck past a goaltender. In the shootout, it’s one-on-one for everyone to
see. How much more of a “hockey play” is a shot that deflects of a
player’s backside in front of the net than a brilliant move by a player
going in on a breakaway?

Having said that, I enjoy overtime hockey as much as the next person.
The sudden death nature of it creates tremendous drama. If it were
feasible, allowing games to be played to their conclusion in overtime
would be great. But with travel schedules and the like, regular season
games have to be completed within a certain timeframe. A five-minute
overtime period gives teams one last chance to wrap things up in game
action. The shootout, to me, is an exciting and appropriate way to put
an exclamation point to a game after that.

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored the tiebreaking goal in Montreal's three-goal third period as the Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Thursday night for their sixth straight win.

Alex Galchenyuk and Torrey Mitchell also scored to help Montreal improve to 7-0-1. Carey Price made 29 saves to win for the fourth time in four starts this season.

Alex Killorn scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who lost against an Eastern-Conference opponent for the first time this season. Ben Bishop stopped 23 shots.

With the scored tied 1-1, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal at 10:23 by beating Bishop glove-side. Blown coverage by the Lightning left the Canadiens' captain all alone on the edge of the face-off circle, and Bishop couldn't see the shot with Andrew Shaw posted firmly in front of goal.

Montreal remains the only NHL team still undefeated in regulation (see full recap).

Crosby's late goal gives Penguins win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored -- each getting his third of the season -- to help the Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.

Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game.

Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, and Halak finished with 31 saves (see full recap).

Streaking Red Wings win marathon shootout vs. Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.

In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.

Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Frans Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.

St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek (see full recap).