Saturday, November 28, 2009

If Every Game In The NHL Were Worth Three Points Week 9

I'm planning/trying to compile and post what the standings would look like if every game in the NHL were worth three points once a week. To review in my alternate NHL universe every game is worth three points: a win in regulation gets the winner 3 points, a win in overtime/SO gets the winner 2 points, an overtime /SO loss earns one point, and a regulation loss is worth zero points here in my alternate universe. If that's how the NHL operated the standings as of the start of today's games the standings would look like this:

Eastern Conference:
Western Conference:

If you compare these standings with the current official NHL standings once again you can see a difference that is substantive in both Conferences. In the East, the Devils would be the first place team while the Caps and Senators would be second and third, while Pittsburgh would be knotted with the Devils in their division and loose the tie-breaker by virtue of less regulation wins, so those would be subtle but significant differences. Likewise in the 5th through 10th spots there would be significant differences most notably the rangers would be in 5th vs. 10th by virtue of the "extra points they'd have due to their 11 regulation victories. Atlanta would be in 6th vice 7th for the same reason. Buffalo would be in 7th place vice 6th. In both systems the Flyers would be in 8th place, though instead of being in a points tie with 9th place Tampa Bay they would be one point ahead of 9th place Boston. So clearly these "extra points" and the award of the same number of points for every game - 3 would matter a lot in the Eastern Conference.

Likewise in the Western Conference things would matter though more subtly. In the West, the teams, placings and points separation of the 6th through 11th place teams would be materially affected at this juncture.

This shouldn't be surprising to any one since as of today slightly over 26% of the games played in the NHL Regular season have gone into either Overtime or been decided in a Shoot Out. The only thing that doesn't make sense about this situation is how any right thinking person can think it's logical for a team winning in regulation to get the same amount of points as a team winning in overtime or via a skills competition/gimmick.

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