Ice Cold Takes is a weekly NHL humor column that thinks shootouts are very stupid and need to be removed from the beautiful game immediately.

It is but a coincidence that shoot outs are the opening topic of this column. It has nothing to do with NHL superstar Brad Marchand fanning on his shootout attempt earlier in the week, or the fact that the Boston Bruins couldn’t win a shootout if the opposing team put a forward in net. No, it’s a matter of right and wrong and shootouts are wrong.

Imagine deciding an NBA game with a dunk contest? Or an NFL game with a battle between two kickers? Actually, both of those sound pretty cool, but that’s not the point. Shootouts are so ridiculously stupid. A 1-on-1 skill game to decided 65 minutes of a great battle between two teams. Just give us 10 damn minutes of 3-on-3. That’s what everyone wants.

That said, there was something that happened in the NHL this week that make less sense. Vegas firing a coach who pretty much took them to the Stanley Cup Final twice. Which brings us to a brand new segment for this column, aptly named: Vegas. What the f**k?

Vegas. What the f**k?

Gerard Gallant took a team that was building for 2022 to a Stanley Cup Final in 2018. He was several blown calls away from being there again in 2019. This year, Gallant had his squad three points out of the number one seed in the Pacific division. Then he was fired.

Performance-based? Jesus! Kelly McCrimmon is that ultra-strict parent who wouldn’t ever let their kids go out in high school. “Oh, an A-? Next time you’ll just have to study harder!” Give it a rest, Kelly! We’re human!

Gallant didn’t even make any mistakes. The way the Golden Knights season was going, no one would be shocked if they ended up back in the Stanley Cup Final. The top-end of the NHL’s Pacific Division is stacked and Vegas is part of that. To hire a mortal enemy in DeBoer is another weird move. Keep your enemies close, I guess. On that note…

Marchand vs. Matthews

Okay. This is the first and only time I’ll be featuring consecutive highlights of Brad Marchand and Auston Matthews in which Matthews looks cooler. And honestly, the Marchand clip wasn’t making the column if not for Gritty’s pun.

Gritty, I’m on to you too. You used to be cool. Edgy. Mean. Now you’re fake mad and we can’t seem to get rid of you. You’re the Eminem of the NHL (Full disclosure — I actually liked Eminem’s surprise new album). Here’s the Matthews clip:

That was a fluke. There’s no way he thought it would work out the way it did. Or maybe he did. Whatever. We’re moving on.

Jack Hughes

Nothing much to talk about here, only that there’s no way in hell that this kid is old enough to be in the NHL.

Can someone call his parents to come pick him up? He’s clearly too sick to be at school today.

James Van Rie-verse pass

The Philadelphia Flyers are still sitting a point outside of a wild card spot but you can’t say they aren’t one of the more fun teams to watch in the NHL. They play close games, they can be scrappy but they can also do beautiful things like this:

This is a playoff team. Expect the Flyers to keep it together and squeeze into one of the wild card spots. Once in, they could do some damage. All they need is to stay healthy and go on a bit of a run at the right time. And take Gritty out back behind the woodshed because he’s FAKE!

The Great 8

The NHL’s future all-time leading goal scorer is ramping up his scoring pace lately, including a hat trick in last night’s game against the lowly New Jersey Devils. Ovi said the hat trick was revenge for an uncalled high stick he took early in the game.

When asked if being bloodied up fueled the hat trick, Ovi replied with: “I just punish them.” Amazing quote. If he takes a few more high sticks, 900 isn’t out of the question. In fact, Ovi should try to get high-sticked in every game. The Caps would be unstoppable.

One thing we also now know about Ovechkin is that he won’t be breaking any of Tiger Woods’ records anytime soon. Unlike most NHL players, the guy can not golf.

Keep your head up.