or “How Are You Ahead in the Standings with Three Fewer Wins?”
A guest post from Moishe:
I caught a few minutes of a discussion on XM Radio’s Hockey talk channel this morning. They were discussing possible revisions to the awarding of points in the standings. Which got me to thinking: From the outset, I have been fiercly opposed to the idea of introducing 3 points for a win, so that is a non-starter. At the same time, a point for losing always bothered me. Since last season, I always thought that a team losing in OT should receive no consolation point (and that 4 on 4 provided enough of an opportunity for a team gunning for a victory as opposed to settling for a shootout), but a team losing in a shootout should earn a consolation point, since it is unfair to so severely penalize a team for losing in the shootout competition.
However, another thought came to mind this morning, and I haven’t heard it suggested anywhere: Two points for a victory in regulation or OT. Zero points for a loss in regulation or OT. Should the game remain tied following OT, no points have yet to be gained or lost. At stake in the shootout is the same 1 point differential as is the case now, with the following distinction: the shootout winner receives 1 point for their night’s work; the loser receives zero.
Under this system, a true hockey victory earns two points, and a true hockey loss earns two less than the victor, or zero points. A shootout victory, which should not be rewarded in the same vein as a true victory, receives 1 point (this provides impetus – gunning for a second point – for teams to go for wins at the end of regulation and in OT, rather than settling for a shootout). A shootout loss, which should not create the same two-point differential as a loss in hockey play would, nonetheless deserves no merit, and thus earns no points for the shootout-losing team while only losing one to their competitor.
To those who would say it is unfair for a team that skates to a tie after regulation and OT (and subsequently loses in a shootout) not to have earned any points that night, I say: Make up your minds. Either the shootout is part of the game and has an impact on the standings, or take out the shootout altogether.
This all seems like a revelation and a great plan in my eyes…what do you think?