Tuesday, July 12, 2005

 

NHL: Should a win be worth 3 points?

One of the more drastic and rather foolish rule changes that we could end up seeing in the New NHL is the abolition of ties, with each game now a 2 point win-or-lose proposition. If the game is tied after regulation and overtime, there would be shootouts *groan* to decide the winner.

I'm with Tom Benjamin on this one:


First, I don't think tie games are terrible things in hockey. The quote "A tie is like kissing your sister" comes from football, not hockey. A tie is a result just like winning and losing are results. There are good ties and bad ones. Sometimes in hockey the only fair result is a tie.

Second, I opposed four on four overtime as a circus and three on three is far worse. In the old days coincidental and overlapping penalties produced three on three hockey once in a while. The rules were changed to eliminate it because you can't really play hockey with only three skaters.

Third, I don't like the shootout. I think it is a lousy way to decide a hockey game in a World Championship and a lousy way to decide a hockey game in an NHL regular season.
The NHL season is a marathon in which entrance into the playoffs is determined by points earned. I have no problems with having ties and I don't like to mess with tradition in such a drastic matter. Changing how records are kept is far different than instituting no-touch icing or reducing goaltender equipment.

As it is, I don't really like the current system of "Bonus Points" that the NHL came up with a few years ago. Teams that can bring a lot of games into OT get a nice "Bonus Point" while the winner of such an overtime battle gets the same reward as a team that wins during regulation time.

How to solve this? Simple...let's look to Europe and the 3-point win.

A mainstream writer, Al "Rumour de jour" Strachan, surprisingly came to his senses and realized what the Europundits have been pushing for all along: Reward Regulation winners with 3 points, Overtime winners with 2 points, and tiers and overtime-losers with 1 point.

Currently, we often see both teams playing is extremely safe if the game is tied in the 3rd period. The teams know they will get at least one point if they make overtime, so they have little incentive to drive for the win and risk losing the one point they can get. Under a 3-point system, there will be more incentive to win during regulation.

So, how would the NHL look under such a system?

I calculated the effects of having the Eurosystem put into place for the 2003-04 system. This is just a straight conversion, and we can't calculate the psychological and strategic effects on the standings.
(1-PTS represents the current system and 2-PTS represents the proposed 3-point system)


Author: Jes Golbez


We can see that that Calgary Flames would have made a drastic leap up in the standings as they were great at winning during regulation time. Our hometown Canucks were incredible in overtime and would be knocked down a few pegs because of it. Boston, a poor overtime team, took the most drastic drop from 4th to 10th place.

It's also interesting to note that the Chi-Town Hawks would have finished in last place and Washington would be up to 27th.

Although the 03-04 playoff races wouldn't have been drastically affected, we could expect that other seasons could show differently.

The NHL only went half-way to addressing overtime issues with it's "Bonus Point" fix. Now, the NHL needs to finish the job and institute the 3-point-win system, rather than foolish shootouts and abolition of tie games.

Comments:
I recently posted about this item as well, but my idea was to give 1 point for a shootout win and keep 2 points for wins in regulation/OT. Same theory, just less points so we don't get 'record breaking seasons' for 20 teams.
 
I posted something similar on Tom Benjamin's blog. I suggested that regulation winners get three points, overtime winner gets two and a shootout winner gets a single point. Losers get nothing. This gives fans that like the shootout their thing without seriously disrupting the standings. I think a shootout would be an exciting addition but I don't think it should count anywhere near as much as a regulation victory.

I don't think we need to worry about "record-breaking seasons" with a three-point game. People will just qualify their statements to indicate which era they are referring to like they do since NASCAR modified their point system a year or two ago.
 
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