For the life of my I cannot understand why the NHL believes that it is OK to have some games worth 2 points while others are worth 3. Last night was crazy. There were 12 games last night and a total of 32 points were handed out in the standings as 8 of the 12 games went to overtime and 4 of those going to a shoot out. Despite of this the NHL General Managers refuse to recommend a change the current setup by saying no to the idea of a 3 point regulation win which would have made all games worth 3 points in the standings.
“I was actually a proponent of the 3-2-1 points system a few years ago,” said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, meaning three points for a win in regulation time, two points for an overtime/shootout win and one point for an overtime/shootout loss.
“But since then we’ve seen these great races and I think it’s working just fine the way it is now. Our fans like it.”
First off, as a fan I wish Mr. Holland wouldn’t speak for me as I don’t like it.
Second, does it really make the races tighter? Let’s take a look. Below are how the standings with how they look now, how they would look under the old system of 2 points for a win (regardless of in regulation or overtime) and no shootout and with ties, and how they would look if the 3 point regulation win were in place. (I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to adjust the rankings so that the division leaders are seeded 1-2-3).
|2||New Jersey||82||New Jersey||75||New Jersey||104|
|10||Toronto||67||NY Islanders||58||NY Islanders||83|
|11||NY Rangers||64||NY Rangers||56||NY Rangers||80|
|3||Anaheim||80||San Jose||76||San Jose||112|
|11||St. Louis||61||St. Louis||51||St. Louis||71|
|15||Los Angeles||50||Los Angeles||42||Los Angeles||56|
Now, I am not sure what the NHL General Manages but this lowly fan concludes that the playoff races would be better under either the traditional setup or a 3 point regulation win setup. Under the current setup we have next to no significant playoff race in the western conference with Edmonton 7 and Colorado 9 points out of the 8th playoff spot. Under either of the other two setups there would be a playoff race with Edmonton just 2 points out in either race and Colorado 4 out in the traditional setup and 5 out in the 3 point for regulation win setup. In the eastern conference the playoff races would be just as tight or even tighter as is the case in the traditional point scheme. Using the traditional point scheme no team in the eastern conference not named Flyers would be more than 8 points out of a playoff spot. Additionally the race for top spot in the eastern conference would be much closer.
All in all, looking at the above table it seems the traditional point scheme seems to be the method that would create the tighest playoff races this year and the current method is the worst.