Playing for OT.

The guys over at Battle of Alberta posted how standings would be if they still played in the old points system in the NHL. mc79hockey has done a little more in depth analysis of these numbers as well. Well it turns out that not only would Calgary be ahead of both Minnesota and Vancouver (which would be fine with me) but Colorado would be behind Minnesota by one point, and Vancouver by only two.

I find this a problem in today's NHL, people play for Overtime, and these two teams are the biggest culprits in the west. Don't get me wrong it's a smart strategy to get to the playoffs and one that's obviously a benefit for Vancouver and Minnesota, but to be honest I see this as a problem. The NHL tried implementing the extra point for an OT win to open up the game more in OT so you don't have two teams sending one vs five because everyone is afraid of losing that point. I get the reasoning and it's solid.

But now you have teams that get to a certain point in the game (about 1/2 way through) and they trap and clutch-and-grab and trap their way through the rest of the game trying to get to overtime. This becomes even worse if those teams have a one goal lead. Minnesota is the absolute worst at this. They play the most boring hockey ever, and their regular time games can be described as yawn inducing. While this is good for the franchise, it's awful for the NHL. the NHL needs to do something to reward teams for going for it.

Personally I don't like the thought of teams getting a point for losing. This isn't a mite league where there's an A for effort, you win or go home. Personally I would like to see them use the standard soccer scoring system of 3 points for a win and 1 for a tie, but that's never going to happen mainly because the shootout has been a success and the NHL wouldn't drop it. so here's my second best idea...

  • 3 points for a regulation win
  • 2 points for an OT win
  • 1 point for a shootout win
  • 0 points for any kind of loss.
This will embolden teams to win in regulation, still reward teams for going for it in overtime, and have the finality of having a winner in a shootout. It also penalizes a team playing specifically for overtime or a shootout. I think OT's should go to 10 minutes and not 5 as well (4 vs 4 is ok with me though).
This also puts the best teams in the playoffs. Last year Dallas won a bunch of shootouts and that basically put them as a 2-seed. Colorado, the 7-seed, dominated them in the playoffs because Colorado was a better team they just didn't have the shootout capacity Dallas did. The NHL lost out because both these teams should have been playing someone else.


  1. I absolutely agree. A friend and I have been behind this exact idea for awhile now. It seems like the most logical road the league could take. Do not hand out rewards for losing. Do not make a shootout worth the same as a regulation win. Reward winning and encourage trying to win.

  2. Glad someone agrees with me.

    The NHL has already stopped the "every game is worth 2 points" logic, so it's time to upgrade the scoring system