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The Points System

PenaltykillFor a while now, something bothers me in the way the NHL are attributing points after each game. It all started in 2005-06 when the NHL felt that it would be better to eliminate the tied games and replace it with a shootout round after the OT. No arguments there, going to a hockey game only to return home with a 2-2 score left a sour taste in the mouths of players and fans. So what’s the problem you ask??? The point given to the losing team…

The Problem

Well first of all, while in the first season I don’t recall it changing the way the game was played, it’s unfair that some games are worth 3 points and some are worth 2. Then the coach and players, as they were adjusting started to realize that it was way better to go home with one point than none at all. That’s exactly where the games started to go dry with 5 mins to go in the game. Teams stop playing and wait for the OT where they can get that point; with an attitude of we’ll win it in ot.

But where it really started to affect the game is this year. According to ESPN “Through 381 games so far this season, there were 70 games (18 percent) decided by a shootout, up from 56 through the same number of games last season and 36 during the first season after the lockout.”

Another thing, hockey is the only sport where you have a .500 with a 13-13-7 which really is 13-20 (the Anaheim Ducks as I write this)

As I’m looking at the standing right now, The Caps are first with a 21-7-6 for 48 points and 34 games played. . For this example I’ll go with the Pens as they also have 34 games played. The pens are 23-10-1 for a total of 47 points. They have two more wins but still are behind.

The Solution

I have three ways that this could be fixed. First, there is going back to the old system of a tied game equals 1 point for each teams, which you reestablished the two points given each game. But we return to those cold nights watching a 1-1 game…

The second solution would be to do a 5 on 5 ot of 5 min, then a shootout, without giving points to teams. A Win becomes a W and a Lost become a L. With this system we go to an NBA-MLB standing style with games back (GB) to establish the rankings of the teams. What I don’t like of this is that it changes everything the NHL as always did and I don’t like a shootout win or lost becoming the same as a regulation W or L.

My Favorite solution would be for giving 3 points for a win in ot and regulation. But 2 points and 1 point to the losing team in a shootout after a 10 min 5on5 regulation. The reason for this is, let’s face it, the shootout is a exciting way of finishing a game but it’s not totally fair, as the game is a team effort. So if after 70mins of 5 on 5 the team gets you to the shootout you have a consolation price of 1 point for the lost. Now, let’s say the Flames are playing the Oilers; the flames have 68 pts and the Oilers 66pts. The players wouldn’t want to get to the shootout, the flames want to distance the oilers by 3pts and Edmonton wants to take the lead of the division with 69pts. The regulation and 5 on 5 ot takes all is importance and the shootout is just a What-if for the Networks that don’t want game going for hours but wants an exciting product.

The Conclusion

I know it’s hard to think of a system where everybody is happy. I did a little poll around friends and find out that the results came to be 33% for each solution. I just thought I’d throw it in the air, and see what you guys thought about it. Maybe you even have a better solution, please feel free to comments at the bottom. Good night of hockey tonight, I hope your team wins, except if they’re playing the Flames.

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Discussion

9 comments for “The Points System”

  1. They talked about this on NHL Home Ice a little while back. It’s obvious that in some games, teams will just play to get to OT. One solution is to not give the loser any points during the overtime period, that way you remove the incentive to just play to overtime. The other option is to go to a 3 point system, where you get 3 points for a regulation win, 3 points for an OT win and a 2-1 split in the shoot out.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | December 17, 2009, 3:56 pm
  2. As much fun as I find a shoot out to be to watch, I have to say that I would think that the best option would be to go back to the old solution of calling the game a tie and being giving each team a point.

    Posted by pittpenNo Gravatar | December 18, 2009, 6:35 am
  3. Great post very interesting!

    Posted by CanuckulheadNo Gravatar | December 18, 2009, 12:53 pm
  4. Great post! I like the idea of allocating 3 points for every game. Your take on having a 10 minute 5 on 5 overtime before going to a shootout is quite intriguing.

    Posted by Nicole FerreiraNo Gravatar | December 21, 2009, 9:46 pm
  5. I had an idea, after a 5-on-5 for 5 minutes, play 5-on-5 with no goalies…but the guys on NHL Home Ice thought it was a dumb idea, they said ‘that’s not hockey!’.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | December 22, 2009, 5:25 pm
  6. so your saying i’m dumb?

    Posted by b.chandlerNo Gravatar | December 22, 2009, 5:45 pm
  7. I saw another solution where we did the MLB “games back” thing. However, OT losses were used as a tie-breaker between teams at the end of the season.

    Posted by EricNo Gravatar | December 23, 2009, 7:24 pm
  8. eric i really like that. still like the 3-0 pts better, but MLB style close second

    Posted by b.chandlerNo Gravatar | December 23, 2009, 7:27 pm
  9. I do like the excitement of a shootout but agree that it doesn’t seem fair. The 3 points per game is intriguing. Suppose you should send your thoughts to the league?

    Posted by PuckGalNo Gravatar | December 25, 2009, 10:17 pm

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