It’s such an obvious rule change that it is actually kind of stunning it wasn’t already in place already, but ESPN’s EJ Hradek confirms that the NHL will devalue shootouts – at least when it comes to playoff tiebreakers.
NHL confirms this rule change: Regulation/OT wins (shootout Ws EXCLUDED) now will be first way to break ties in the standings.
If yesterday’s figures give us any indication, the Oilers, Rangers and Devils might be slightly bummed out about this but the Hurricanes and Flames could be elated.
NHL teams need every incentive to decide games before the “glorified skills competition” known as the shootout takes place, so this is a great rule change. It most likely won’t make that much of an impact on the charity point problem, but perhaps the league will slowly move away from the shootout going forward. If not, it’s that much better.