Last night the Lightning and Flyers played a hockey game in which a considerable amount of time was spend standing around looking at each other. This has quickly led to calls by some to bring in basketball-style rules inflation: "shot clocks" to force the Flyers to attack, or "illegal defence" to force the Lightning to forecheck. Either one would be a big mistake, in my opinion, and would in any event be treating the symptom rather than the problem.
That problem is not the rules, nor is it the coaching. It's the NHL standings system, which has rightly been ridiculed by fans for some time now. If both teams spent 65 minutes staring at each other and then went to a shootout, each would have the expected result of earning 1.5 points. This isn't just a good result; it translates to a 123 point pace and would have been first overall last year. It's a fantastic result. Both coaches here were making the right decision, and only interference from the refs prevented this from becoming obvious.
There is no need, under the current set up, to score goals in order to succeed. It turns out that it's not a goal scoring contest at all. Many alternatives have been suggested: 3-2-1, 4-3-2-1, getting rid of the shootout and the pity point - and all would solve this problem. If anything needs to be done about the Tampa Bay trap, this is it.
My preferred solution:
Keep things the way they are (7 votes)
4-3-2-1 (regulation win, overtime win, shootout win, shootout loss) (5 votes)
3-2-1 (regulation win, overtime win, overtime loss) (20 votes)
No shootouts and no three point games (23 votes)
Some other solution (7 votes)
62 total votes