Here Comes Hockey Boo Boo: Daugavins' Chicanery Must End the Reality TV Shootout

Published on 13-Mar-2013 by Xavier McSpaniel

NHL    NHL Daily Opinion

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Here Comes Hockey Boo Boo: Daugavins' Chicanery Must End the Reality TV Shootout

As most people without concussion-like symptoms know: the only irony in reality TV is that nothing is real. It is all contrived; from the character personas to the in-game 'challenges,' everything is a poor imitation of actual events.

So it is with NHL shootouts.

And if any further evidence was needed to flip the channel on hockey's end-game tribute to Survivor, it was provided by Ottawa's Kaspars Daugavins in the 11 March tilt against Boston. His pool-cue performance, despite solid ratings in terms of skill, represented everything that's wrong with the NHL's elimination episode. It was cheap. It was silly. It was pretentious. It was content more suitable for the 'Real Hipsters of Vancouver' than a National Hockey League rink. And it could have decided the outcome of the contest.

That's the indefensible aspect of this: an America's Got Talent moment -- with limited to no resemblance to the real game -- had points and standings implications. What laughable strategy will be next? Alex Ovechkin donning a stupid hat and Elton John shades and a dollar store Canadian flag for his shootout attempt? Oh, right ...

Or perhaps there will be spin-offs; other skills of the game will be isolated and lampooned for the purposes of obtaining a result. Players might stick-handle through a series of cones, not only on the ice, but in the stands and across the carpark, a-la The Amazing Race. Goalies could Deadliest Catch a series of Hockeytown octopi thrown to their glove side. Fear Factor goons may fight bears and alligators and Gino Odjick in order to secure the W.

Sensible solutions to the shootout farce have been available for some time, but the makers of Intervention must first finish their work with Raffi Torres and Matt Cooke.

Until then, we have to endure endless re-runs of a show created for FX rather than Bravo.