Three points for a win is a standard which is used in many sports but not in the NHL. There are pro and cons to the “3 points for a win” system and its no secret that fans of the NHL don’t like the current system and didn’t particularly like the previous one. The previous one was before the 2004/05 lockout and the tie been used to determine the outcome of a game, since then their is a shootout winner after the OT. At the end of the article we will look to see if the changes in the point format actually made a difference in the Blues making the playoff ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
In the current system you are allocated 2 points for a win regardless of how it comes. It can be in regulation time, the overtime or a shootout. It should mean 2 points are available for every game not 3 which obviously happens when a game goes past regulation time. The loser in OT or an SO always gets one point and the winner gets 2. If it were 3 points for a win in regulation there would be a bigger incentive to win and not settle for for the OT or a SO. Fans would get to see exciting hockey especially in the 3rd period, they would have more exciting endings and many memorable moments and leave the arena completely satisfied with their experience. The playoff races would be tighter and would breathe new life into the NHL and maybe attract audiences from other sports. But the most important thing is you are really rewarding a team that wins in regulation time. The system would be (3 pts regulation win, 2 pts OT or SO win, 1 pt OT or SO loss and O pts regulation loss) The 3 point system has been adopted in soccer has led to success pushing teams to play extra harder to get 3 pts for a win instead of 1 for a tie. For 100 years it was 2 pts for a win, 1 pt for a tie. Can’t imagine fans reacting to the old ways again?
However with all the issues with the current points system it changes absolutely nothing in terms of the standings all it really does is give teams more points. OT games would lose their spice and would no longer hold any real value. The fans love the 3-3 OT session, it brings electricity to the arena and is looked forward by all fans at the game and watching at home on the TV. After all the fans experience is what matters most?
The two alternatives to the current system other than the 3 points for a win are bringing back ties and punishing the loser of the game. Bringing back ties is the same as the current system minus the shootout. Both teams get a point if nothing is resolved in OT. It was abolished to create more excitement with the introduction of the shootout. Bettman on the shootout “you go to a building during a shootout and nobody is leaving which is exactly what it was designed to do. Its exciting its fun its entertaining” North American fans have always liked a winner and with this way gives you that. However the shootout is basically a skills competition and has lost its appeal to many fans, it is a tough way to lose especially come March April time when important points are on the line. Also it has created even more parity since the shootout came into effect. With no more tie games points are awarded almost every night. It does keep teams in the playoff hunt longer, keeps interest for fans of those teams.
The punishing the loser system is 2 pts for a regulation win, 1 pt for a OT/SO win and 0 pts for any loss. That system will unlikely be favoured as teams would have less points in the season and a lot of games still go past regulation time. It is similar in its fashion to the 3 point for a win with just less points on the table.
With the different point systems do the Blues make the playoffs ahead of the Colorado Avalanche?
3 points for a win
The Blues with 3 points for a regulation win would finish with 128 points. They had 33 regulation wins(3pts) with 11 going past regulation (2pts) and 6 loser points (1pt). The Avalanche had 35 regulation wins (3pts)with 8 going past regulation (2pts) and 9 loser points (1pt) They would finish with 130 points.
Tie score after OT
The Blues would finish with 91 points, Avalanche would finish with 93 points. The Blues got extra points in 3 shootouts meanwhile the Avalanche had 2.
Punish the loser
The Blues would finish with 77 points meanwhile the Avalanche would finish with 78 points. For 11 of the Blues games they would only 1 point past regulation and the Avalanche would have 8. However the Avalanche lost 9 games past regulation Blues lost 6.
The Blues would have missed the playoffs in any scenario and that was as close as it could get at the end of the season. These point systems don’t change anything at all which leads us on to the fact “if it ain’t broke there’s no need to fix it”