Canucks Coach John Tortorella Calls NHL Shootouts a ‘Gimmick,’ Says They ‘Should Be Out of the League’ (Video)

The Vancouver Canucks blew a two-goal third-period lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Wednesday’s game at Rogers Arena and lost in a shootout.

The Canucks haven’t been successful in the shootout this season, with a 2-6 record and just four goals in 32 attempts. Only the Detroit Red Wings have more shootout defeats (seven) than Vancouver.

“It should be out of the league,” Canucks head coach John Tortorella said when asked about shootouts after Thursday’s practice. “That gimmick should be out of the league.”

“You cannot practice the shootout in practice, no matter how you do it,” he added.

In a competitive Western Conference where only one, two or three points could determine which teams earn a playoff spot, the importance of the shootout is increased. The Canucks are fourth in the Pacific Division with 55 points and occupy the Western Conference’s first wild-card playoff spot.

Through the first 658 games of the 2013-14 season, 15.81 percent (105) of games have ended in a shootout. The highest percentage of games ending in a shootout in one season was 14.96 percent in 2009-10.

Complaints about the shootout and the argument that it’s wrong to end a team game with an individual skills competition has led to a lot of debate about extending overtime. Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is in favor of adding a second five-minute overtime period before games go to a shootout.

Check out Tortorella’s press conference in the video below.

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