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Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings: The Old Saga Of 3-Point Games

Detroit Red WingsThere’s been a lot of debates, argument, and newspaper column inches dedicated to the subject of three point games.

I don’t think the argument will ever be settled, but I can at least see the cases for and against, and also the reasons behind them.


TEAM A fights hard and are denied a win by exceptional and/or very lucky goaltending. They may be scored on by a very lucky bounce/deflection, and then have to play against TEAM B that camps in its own zone, blocking the shooting lanes. In instances like this, the dominant TEAM A may end up losing in a shootout, whilst TEAM B got lucky and then protected the net at all costs to hold on for at least a point, even though they’re likely to be outshot by 20-30 shots. In those games, if the dominant team loses, then there’s a justifiable case for them getting a point.


TEAM B could defend through 60 minutes, and spend their whole time on the back foot. Even though they hardly attempt to string an attack together, they still get a point for reaching the end of regulation. In some cases, this has actually encouraged teams to go to high-flying opponents and attempt to soak up the pressure as much as they can, as at least there’s a point in it for them. Plus, whichever team loses, loses, and shouldn’t be rewarded with a point, good performance or not. Sometimes you can play very well, and really be the better team but end up losing. That’s competitive sports for you!

However, I think your opinion depends on your own team’s experiences. Detroit’s game at Pittsburgh on Sunday was a good example. I thought we were a good opponent, and really made the Pens work for their game. I saw Datsyuk and Zetterberg play the forechecking game very well, and the Pens defence was often caught under pressure, and forced to blindly shove the puck to centre ice without direction. Even though we were outshot heavily, even though Howard was pushed hard by the Pittsburgh defence, I really think our defensive work, goaltending, and penalty killing was worth a point.

Another loss in OT for Detroit though, and this doesn’t sit well. Most Detroit fans had hoped the win against Nashville was a turning point, but then to lose in shootout to the Pens just shoved us back into the depression.

We play San Jose tonight, and then Anaheim later in the week. Usually against the Sharks, we fight hard and really cut out their passing play. Hopefully we can do that again tonight, and it will be, once again, a very entertaining game. Anaheim is a very familiar story. We’ll try to play with finesse whilst the Ducks attempt to remove body parts of the Wings players.

Holmstrom and Franzen will apparently both be back in the roster before the Olympic break. This should hopefully give us a full roster for the first time since the opening couple of days of the season.

On a final note, Andreas Lilja has been sent to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint. After his severe concussion problems, he’s been finding that after a couple of minutes of exercise he was suffering from acute headaches and vision problems. Here’s hoping that the 11-month absence hasn’t taken away the bite and spark that Lilja often showed. This is great news for the big man.

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2 comments for “Detroit Red Wings: The Old Saga Of 3-Point Games”

  1. You’re right, there’s no shortage of debate around the 3-point system: http://penaltykill.net/blogs/the-points-system/

    Sometimes I think the loser of any game should get 0 and the winner gets 2 - OT, shootout - whatever. I hate the last minute of a tied game where it seems like both teams are cruising just to get the 1 point.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | February 2, 2010, 10:42 am
  2. The other argument against the 3-point system is that the shootout really depends on the skill of your individual players. Teams with a couple of all stars with lots of shootout talent have a better chance of winning in a shootout than a team which has a lot of overall good players.

    In a sense, this allows the team with a couple of players who are great at shootouts to just play it safe in OT and wait for the shootout where the odds are in their favor.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | February 2, 2010, 12:31 pm

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