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11 April 2007

That extra point beyond OT means a whole lot more than the average fan may think...

I skimmed a few message boards this morning and came up with an interesting stat: the NHL standings minus getting a point after overtime.

When the new NHL came out and the old NHL became a page in the history book, there were many changes that needed to be brought to a faulty game.

-First off, the NHL decided to abolish ties and add a thrilling shootout round that would please fans more than anything else and would allow teams to earn that extra point if overtime solved nothing.

-There was also the sizing-down of goaltender equipment, which has shown us the true face of certain goalies, more notably Jose Theodore.
The move was smart because it gave shooters more room to score in a low-scoring NHL league.

-And argurably the most important move the NHL made, was to call a whole new rash of penalties per game. The hooking gesture became chronic and just by touching a player around his waist would cost you two minutes for the intention and not the result.
Power plays are hugely important for some teams.
The Canadiens could've been the worst team in the NHL had it not been for their absolutely dominant powerplays which saw them finish first in the league.
Sheldon Souray set a record for powerplay goals by a defenceman.
That's all that you need to know...Montreal's 5-on-5 play was so horrendous that they were incapable to score consistently when needed, but only when the opposing team gave them the opportunity to do so with a man advantage.

-The removal of the "red line" in itself, the two line pass, was just a way to make the game quicker and avoid more stoppages in play, the delayed offside rule was also a great addition to the refereeing rulebook.

-Commericals were made shorter and instead of something like 4 minutes of beer and car commercials they shortened it to 2 minutes.
And plenty a lot of technical stuff I don't want to get into.

But the point is, the extra point beyond overtime is SOOO important to the current NHL standings, why, here's how the standings would've looked if some people got their way and there were no points for a shootout loss.

(e.g. The Canadiens went 5-5 in shootouts this season, which means they earned 10 points for their wins and 5 points for their losses, these standings portray how the conference would've finished up had the Canadiens-and other teams- not earned those 5 points for losing.)

1.*Ottawa - 103 points
2.*New Jersey Devils - 96 points
3.*Atlanta - 90 points
4. Buffalo - 103 points
5. Pittsburgh - 95 points
6. Carolina - 88 points
7. Toronto - 87 points
8. Montreal - 85 points

9. NY Rangers - 85 points
10. Florida - 84 points
11. NY Islanders - 83 points
12. Tampa Bay - 83 points
13. Washington - 69 points
14. Boston - 67 points
15. Philadelphia - 55 points

AND..the west
1. *Detroit - 111 points
2. *Anaheim - 106 points
3. *Vancouver - 100 points
4. San Jose - 105 points
5. Nashville - 104 points
6. Dallas - 100 points
7. Minnesota - 94 points
8. Calgary - 93 points
9. Colorado - 90 points
10. St. Louis - 75 points
11. Columbus - 68 points
12. Edmonton - 68 points
13. Chicago - 65 points
14. Los Angeles - 64 points
15. Phoenix - 60 points

(This includes apparently the tie breaking and division tying procedures, so these would be the final final standings.)

Miraculously, the Western Conference standings have been unaffected by this flurry of points removed, but, the East is where it gets interesting.

The Canadiens, as well all know so unfortunately well, missed the playoffs this season because of a devastating and dissapointing 6-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs last Saturday night, the loss cost the Canadiens badly as they missed the playoffs by a single point.

The Leafs lost because of all their missed opportunities to beat opposing teams in the shootout (they went 4-6, and stumbled horribly in the second half) and did not advance to the post-season because of the one overtime loss that seperates them from the Islanders.

If, however, there was no shootout loss point, the Leafs and Habs would've made it to the playoffs, so would've the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rangers would have been tied with the Canadiens but, Montreal wins out the tiebreaker.

The Lightning went 10-2 in shootouts this season, led by goalie Johan Holmqvist, and if all went as I said before, they'd have their current point total reduced by 2 and just for that, they'd miss a chance to make it.

As you can see, that point means more than meets the eye.

Teams make it past the 3rd and if they lose, it's all cool because they earned a point.

That's not cool for fans of the Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Hurricanes, who just saw their teams miss a chance to win hockey's coveted trophy...

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge

4 fanatics have replied:

Earl Sleek said...

I get what you're doing here, but honestly, from a standpoint of "the best teams should make the playoffs", why do we worry so about the loser point?

It's a point earned for not losing in regulation for playing the 5-on-5 hockey we expect to see in the second season.

The common counter-argument says: "Why should you get a point for losing?", neglecting to point out that their definition of losing has to do with losing a 4-on-4 or 1-on-0 mini-game that will have practically no place in the postseason.

I hate the idea to give more weight to the ability to win shootouts in a league that has zero shootouts in its championship run. But those in favor of losing the loser point I guess see it differently.

Remember, the NHL did not add the loser point with its rule changes--those already were in place pre-lockout. Rather, what's new is the "winner" point for winning a shootout, and in my mind it is the more frivolously-awarded point that needlessly inflates certain teams' point totals.

Anyway, rant over.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

I agree with most of what you say, but I still don't think a team should be awarded a point for failing to win in a shootout.

Yes, but why? Why do you deserve to get a point? It's still a loss, you just had to go a period further to do so.

Or, you could award a loser point only if the winner point was worth 3 in overtime.

The team that wins gets 2 points (a regular win) and steals a point from the other team, who ends up with one.

How does that sound?

What I meant by adding a loser point, was adding that extra win point for a shootout, sorry about that, guess I didn't mention it properly.

Anyway, good rant! :D

Earl Sleek said...

It's still a loss, you just had to go a period further to do so.

Yeah, but a loss that isn't repeatable in the playoffs.

I don't really mind that the NHL got rid of ties (whatever, I say). I do mind that people treat shootout wins as being as valid as regulation wins.

Tampa's 10-2 shootout record won't help them out past game 82. It'd be a shame if a team made the playoffs on the strength of being awesome in the shootout but couldn't really do much once they were there.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, the NHL didn't pay much attention to what is made in the sport world. A game shall always have the same amount of reward points, whatever the outcome.

So if you want a no tie result and reward the teams going in tie-break, making it a 3 point game, then you have to make it a 3 point game in regulation. Soccer leagues have been doing that for a long time and it's the most logical way to go.

Finally it comes down to this, every games shall be 2 point games or 3 point games: a 2/0 points winner takes all system or a 3/2/1/0 points "effort rewarding" system.

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