Long live overtime

TED WYMAN

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

There has been some talk in NHL executive circles about doing away with extended overtime in the playoffs and replacing it with the dreaded shootout.

Thank the gods of hockey heaven that nobody wants to go down that road -- at least not yet.

The multiple overtime games of hockey history are some of the most memorable that have ever been played.

Who can forget Keith Primeau's goal in the 92nd minute of extra time a few years back? How about Pat LaFontaine's winner in the fourth OT against the Capitals way back in 1987?

Personally, I remember where I was for both those goals and I'm sure many other hockey fans do as well. Every hockey fan in Winnipeg claims to have been in the house when Dave Ellett scored his big double OT goal back in 1990 (I know I was there). That remains one of the most memorable moments in Jets history.

There's something so compelling about those games, where the goalies have lost 15 pounds of sweat and the players are skating like their legs are made of grape jelly. There's something that stirs inside the hardcore hockey fan, who can't even look away from the screen for a second for fear of missing the winning goal, much less go to bed.

The thought crosses their minds that they are witnessing history. In theory, the game could go on until dawn and they want to be among the select few to see it all.

The Vancouver-Dallas marathon on Wednesday night was another example of a game people will talk about for years to come. They'll remember where they were when Henrik Sedin scored in the fourth overtime and be proud of the fact that they were awake to see it.

You can't often say that about the first game of the playoffs, in mid-April.

WORLD CLASS: Great crowds, great enthusiasm from the athletes and great organization made the World Women's Hockey Championship a top-notch event despite a lack of competition. Canada walked all over all comers and sauntered away with the world title and a boatload of memories. The true winners, however, where the thousands of young girls who attended the championship and saw what they have to strive for. If that electric atmosphere at the Canada-U.S. games didn't serve as a recruiting tool for women's hockey, nothing will ... Given the mess they've got on their hands in Quebec City, do you suppose Hockey Canada executives kick themselves every day for not bringing the World Men's Hockey Championship to Winnipeg? ... When was the last time you heard of a coach firing the GM? Only happens if your name is Wayne Gretzky ... The Great One might soon be doing every job in the organization, but the only one that would make a difference would be if he came back to play centre. He'd be their best player, even with a bad back and 46-year-old legs.

HANK'S OUT: Hank Aaron says he won't be there if and when Barry Bonds breaks his career home run record. In fact, the list of dignitaries who plan to be there has been whittled down to three - former personal trainer Greg Anderson, BALCO boss Victor Conte and Jose Canseco. And Jose's just showing up for the free sandwiches ... Pacman Jones was suspended by the NFL for a year after allegedly inciting a gun brawl at a Las Vegas strip club, where he was showering strippers with $81,000 in cash. Now the Tennessee Titans cornerback says he plans to use the time to go back to school at West Virginia University. "I think he is trying to get himself in an environment that is going to help him," said West Virginia assistant coach Mike Barwis. This is true. College kids always know where to find the best strip bars. Bring your suitcase, Pacman.

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SAY WHAT?

"It's funny. Sometimes I will be making reservations, and it will be like, 'Wait, is this Borat?' And it definitely throws a lot of people off."

-- Figure skater Sasha Cohen, on being confused with actor Sacha Baron Cohen

Trivia Time

This week's winner will receive the Disorderly Compendium of Golf. The first person to phone in or e-mail the correct answer will win. Please leave your name and phone number.

QUESTION: Who established an NHL record by scoring at least one goal in 10 consecutive playoff games in the 1970s?

LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: Which two non-Americans share the Masters golf tournament single-round record score of 63?

ANSWER: Nick Price and Greg Norman.

LAST WEEK'S WINNER: No winner.


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