Airing of Grievances:  Overtime




Yeah, I'm talking to you, overtime. 

You with your arbitrary five-minute length, your outlandish, arguably criminal (and invariably false) claim that "sudden death" awaits the loser and your contrived, manufactured sense of drama that provokes 29 of the 30 NHL arenas to blare the opening riffs of "Welcome to the Jungle" as exhausted third-liners wearily circle their zone.  (Only Philadelphia is immune from this artifice, because the Flyers simply lose all their games in regulation time these days.)

Like scraggly beards and Don Cherry on a Thursday, your presence is ridiculous but nevertheless makes some sense in the postseason.  After all, a tie would completely mess up the progress of a playoff series, stripping it of all drama.  Witness Canada's 4-3-1 record against Russia back in '72.  Bo-ring!

They say "a tie is like kissing your sister."  Well, an overtime loss is like getting your lips grabbed by pliers wielded by your most annoying high school rival and held open just enough to be force-fed box jellyfish venom through a straw.  I'll take the old 2-2 draw any day.  And I don't even have a sister, so it would work out even better for me.

Even worse is the requirement that each team play with only four skaters on the ice.  And isn't just a wee bit convenient that the Toronto Maple Leafs, subject of near-universal venom and/or envy among rival clubs, is the one NHL team completely stripped of all powers when playing with only four skaters?  I mean, if the idea was to increase scoring and excitement, OT rules could just as easily have required both teams to remove "one US-born goalie named Miller" from play.  But no -- it's the fifth skater that has to go.  That sweet, indispensable fifth skater.

Overtime, the only time this season you were even remotely tolerable was that one game against Washington when nothing much happened on your watch.  Following your non-event, the Leafs put their helmets on backwards and prevailed in a skills competition.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)  If you must know, Overtime, the Caps and Leafs did breakaways, presumably because the ACC didn't have enough orange cones on hand for the Obstacle Course Puck Relay.

And no, it doesn't make it all better that you give us a sympathy point for the privilege of enjoying our time with you.  Those "Participant" ribbons didn't make me feel any better when my peewee baseball team went 0-3 in weekend tournaments, either.

So this Fesitvus, Overtime, I air my grievances with you.  I don't want to see you anywhere near the Air Canada Centre until the 2010 postseason, because if I do encounter you there and then, that means the Devils are failing to blow us out, which is probably a good thing.

Until then, begone!  Who's with me?  We want ties...we want ties... is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of

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