What if every sport broke ties with a skills contest?


What if every sport broke ties with a skills contest?

By Justin Aucoin

Were big hockey fans over here at Wicked Good Sports. Absolutely love it. And over the years the NHL has been tweaking the rules of the game, trying to make the game more exciting and more appealing to a wider audience.

Some of the rule changes weve liked (nixing the two-line pass infraction), others were meh about (the silly goalie trapezoid) and then theres other we downright cant stand like the shoot out.

For the hockey-impaired, the shoot out happens if theres still a tie at the end of an extremely shortened overtime period. A lot of fans love it; a lot of fans hate it.

Were more on the hate it side. Why? Because it boils down to nothing more than a skills competition to decide a winner. It turns a team game into an individual game. In short: we feel like it cheapens things.

Doesnt help when players are allowed to do stunts like this:

For those wondering why this is a big deal, heres the official NHL rule:

"The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent's goal lineand once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line orcomes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete."

Looks like both happened. Yet even after a video review they let the goal count.

What a joke. That wouldnt fly on a penalty shot in-game, so why in a shoot out?

Imagine if every major sport ended their games like this? With skills competition?

Basketball could end on a dunking contest. Best jam wins.

Or if that is too subjective for your taste, maybe a quick game of HORSE.

Football could end on a field goal contest. Best out of three each kick moving further and further back. Pretty sure Buffalo would hate this idea.

Baseball would end on a homerun derby.

That might actually be better than waiting for a 19 inning game to end. Also, is there such thing as an exciting pitchers duel?

And soccer could end also on penalty shots.

Wait never mind. It already does.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:


WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)


TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)