So this has been bugging me. Why is the Olympic gold medal decided by a 4 on 4 overtime? To me, this completely alters the dynamic of the game: the lines are different, the strategy is different, even the officiating is different (refs seem more reticent to call a penalty that leaves only 3 men on the ice). It would be like playing 7 on 7 for football OT (actually, this might be an improvement over the NFL game-winning coin flip, but I digress). Don't even get me started on shootouts.
I understand why they do 4 on 4 in the NHL regular season. I remember the meaningless overtimes back when everyone just tried to not lose their precious 1 point. But for a championship? Let 'em play the game. Some of my best hockey memories are staying up 'til 2 AM watching the 3+ overtime games in the Wings / Hurricanes Cup finals. And who wouldn't have wanted to see more USA vs. Canada? It beats giant inflatable beavers.