There's nothing like overtime

The glories of overtime

Picture a tense, passionate game. There's little time left, and the score is tied. You're afraid to watch, but you know you must. Some time in the next few minutes, there is going to be a winner. Those are the rules.

When two teams are tied at the end of 60 minutes, each team is awarded one point in the league standings. Then they prepare for overtime. It's an intense five minutes of sudden death four-on-four action. If no one scores, it's time for a shootout. Prepare to be entertained.

Players can try whatever move they think will get the puck in the net when it comes time for their one-on-one with the goalie. Slap it, wrist it or deke it, the only thing they can't do is kick the puck. Each coach selects three players for three shots. Whoever scores the most, wins.

Sounds simple. Not always. An unforgettable game between Vancouver and Anaheim on Halloween night in 2008 led to a superstitious 13 rounds of shots. Talk about creepy.

The longest shootout happened between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals in November 2005. It lasted 15 rounds with 30 shooters. Marek Malik, a Rangers defenceman, finally ended it with a magnificent between-the-legs wrist shot.

Shootouts are one of the most exciting aspects of hockey. There's nothing like a do-or-die situation to stir the fans into a frenzy and test a team's power, agility and luck!