Tag: NHL point system

Gary Bettman

Realignment should force NHL’s point system to change


The NHL’s plan to realign teams into four conferences has been overwhelmingly positive. As with all things, however, there are some negative aspects lurking beneath the surface and for realignment, some of those worries are understandable. One big issue that comes into play is the NHL’s point system.

Without a doubt we’ll run into a situation where a fourth place team in one conference will have fewer points than a fifth or sixth place team in a separate conference leading fans of those teams to believe they got shafted.

The answer to those complaints will always be to “win more games” but in conference playoff races, a handful of points might make the difference. Just imagine what the reaction will be if say a team like Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, or New York missed the playoffs because they didn’t have as many overtime/shootout losses as the team ahead of them.

A team going to the playoffs because they made it to overtime more often than another one? Insanity. There’s no doubt the shootout is a gimmick that’s here to stay, but fixing the points system would alleviate these worries. The NHL should make it so all games are worth three points. Win in regulation and a team gets three, but if the game goes to overtime or the shootout, each team gets one point and the winner gets the third.

It’s simple enough, it works in International hockey, and it’ll ensure that coaches and GMs won’t have a coronary at the end of the season because they didn’t play enough overtime games. Teams don’t want the shootout to decide games or playoff races and making regulation wins worth that much more should be incentive enough to make it happen.

Jarome Iginla wants to see the NHL’s ‘loser point’ go away

Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla is a man with simple needs. He likes his team to win games and earn two points. He also wants it so that if his team loses in overtime or a shootout that they don’t get any points as well.

Yes, Iginla wants to see the point teams “earn” by losing in the extra session to go away. His reasoning? Simple: He wants games to actually mean more to the teams as he tells Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun.

“It would be a little more stressful when you’re in a shootout but be more fun. You’d have more riding on each game,” Iginla said. “I’m sure I’m in a minority in that, but it would be exciting.

“Why I like sports so much is because it’s unpredictable and so much is riding on it. It would add more.”

The NHL loves the loser point because it tightens up playoff races and makes the end of the season potentially more exciting. Of course, the issue there is that games ending in regulation are worth two points while overtime/shootout affairs are ultimately worth three.

Where Iginla is right, however, is that it would make games more exciting and more cutthroat ultimately. It also might mean that teams take bigger risks in overtime so as to not lose out on two points in the soul-sucking skills competition that is the shootout. If only we could get Iginla to storm the NHL offices and make this magical dream of normalcy returning happen.

Of course, the NHL could just make regulation wins worth three points and help balance things out that way too. Having your cake and eating it too isn’t so bad either.