I am one (of many I believe) of the people who totally despise the current point scheme where some games are worth 3 points and other games are worth 2 points. I also despise the fact that an individual skills competition (aka the shootout) is used to determine winners of games and which teams make or miss the playoffs or their relative playoff seeding. So lets take a look at, and evaluate, the various point systems that the NHL could used.
1. The current scheme.
2. The traditional scheme where a win gets you 2 points, a loss zero points and a tie 1 point with no shootouts.
3. The 3 point system where all games are worth 3 points. A regulation win gets you 3 points and a regulation loss zero points. An overtime or shootout win would get you 2 points and an overtime or shootout loss would get you a single point.
The tables below show how the standings would look under each system. I have also included regulation win % which is a teams winning percentage in games that ended in regulation as well as my power rank from my power ranking scheme.
(Note: These are the standings, not the playoff seedings where the division winners get ranked 1,2 and 3).
|3||Ottawa||105||New Jersey||96||New Jersey||143||New Jersey||0.600||New Jersey||0.532|
|7||Tampa Bay||93||Toronto||83||NY Rangers||124||Montreal||0.500||Carolina||0.488|
|8||NY Islanders||92||Montreal||83||Toronto||123||NY Rangers||0.500||Atlanta||0.480|
|9||Toronto||91||NY Rangers||80||Carolina||122||Carolina||0.500||Tampa Bay||0.460|
|10||Montreal||90||Tampa Bay||80||Tampa Bay||122||NY Islanders||0.500||NY Rangers||0.457|
|11||Carolina||88||NY Islanders||77||NY Islanders||122||Florida||0.492||Florida||0.444|
|12||Florida||86||Florida||76||Florida||116||Tampa Bay||0.468||NY Islanders||0.444|
The above table should tell you everything that is wrong about the current point scheme. The current point scheme has Tampa and the Islanders making the playoffs while no other scheme has them in the playoffs. The current point scheme has the Leafs and Canadiens missing the playoffs while no other point scheme has them missing. Additionally, 4 of the 5 methods have New Jersey the 3rd best team, except the one the NHL uses which has them second best. Something just seems wrong when 4 of 5 systems agree but the NHL uses the one that doesn’t. If fairness and having the best 8 teams making the playoffs is what the NHL is looking for, the current system does not produce that.
As for close playoff races (the NHL’s supposed reason for wanting to keep the current method), well, all of the methods would have resulted in very tight playoff races. In fact the 3 point game method had 6 teams ranked 6 through 11 with between 122 and 124 points. Can’t get much closer than that.
|2||Anaheim||110||Anaheim||102||San Jose||155||Anaheim||0.661||San Jose||0.622|
|3||Nashville||110||San Jose||102||Nashville||152||San Jose||0.649||Vancouver||0.621|
|10||St. Louis||81||St. Louis||68||St. Louis||105||St. Louis||0.407||St. Louis||0.448|
|15||Phoenix||67||Los Angeles||56||Los Angeles||89||Los Angeles||0.339||Los Angeles||0.376|
The western conference playoff race was pretty much non-existant except for a late season surge by the Avalanche so the end result is that all methods of evaluation have the same 8 teams making the playoffs and all point systems show the same significant drop off between 9th place Colorado and 10th place St. Louis. Overall there is much more consistency between schemes in the west than the east.