Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The NFL has finally done something about their hotly debated sudden death overtime. Albeit, only in postseason play. The standard OT rules will remain for regular season games. The NFL owners approved the change by a vote of 28-4.
The new system is actually similar to one I've proposed in the past. There's a coin toss, determining first possession. Now if the first team with the ball scores a touchdown, the game is over. But if they only manage a field goal, the other team gets a possession as well. If both teams get field goals, the game will thereafter resume as sudden death (so another field goal would win it).
It certainly removes some of the air of illegitimacy from coin-toss winners moving the ball 40 yards then kicking a field goal. OT winners will have more certainty and less doubt about whether or not they "deserved" to win, or were simply beneficiaries of a lucky coin-toss.
It's strange that the rule is ONLY for postseason play. The NFL is essentially admitting that their old overtime rules are inferior, yet they're keeping them in place. This convinces me that the rule change isn't about fairness, it's about legitimacy.
Then again, there'd be no ties at the end of a postseason overtime, they'd just play another 15:00 period. So it makes sense not to increase the likelihood of tied games in the regular season.
Ironically, Minnesota was one of the 4 teams that voted against the change, even though it was they who the Saints beat in OT after the toss of a coin.
If it weren't for the buffoonery of Dennis Wideman, I would've thought NESN were broadcasting a game from last season. Lucic and Krejci were back to form, Wheeler was solid, Chara was a threat from the point, it was great.
I'll take this with a big chunk of salt, though. Atlanta just isn't that good. As I mentioned in my preview, the Thrashers had won 4 straight, but that came after 6 straight losses. That team down there is more bipolar than the Bruins.
And the Thrashers played like complete crap. Their fans showed up more than they did, which is saying something. Why the hell is there a team in Atlanta anyway? You're talking about a warm weather city that barely supports its warm weather teams when they're good.
This was another big win for the standings though. Two points for Boston, 0 for Atlanta. That creates a 3 point cushion between teams, with the Bruins having an extra game to play. It also puts the B's only a point behind Montreal and Philly. And there is a HUGE difference between the quality of opponent the 8th seed will play compared to the 6th.
And I'll give some accolades to Tuukka Rask. He made some tough saves early in the game, and even stopped a penalty shot. It was his 4th shutout of the season, and he's clearly the #1 goalie going into the playoffs.
Bruins host Tampa Bay Thursday night.
AP Photo/John Bazemore