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THN.com Blog: Loser point for losers

Let’s face it, nobody likes losers.

That is, of course, unless you’re the NHL, which seems to have no problem with them whatsoever and, in fact, would like to give them a helping hand whenever possible.

What other explanation can there be for giving teams the absurd and mathematically maddening overtime-loss point? To demonstrate my point, here are the current NHL standings…

CURRENT NHL STANDINGS
EASTERN
WESTERN
 
W
L
OTL
Pts.
 
W
L
OTL
Pts.
Ottawa
17
7
3
37
Detroit
19
6
2
40
Carolina
15
10
3
33
Dallas
15
10
4
34
Philadelphia
15
9
2
32
Vancouver
15
10
2
32
Rangers
15
10
2
32
San Jose
14
8
4
32
New Jersey
15
10
2
32
Minnesota
15
10
2
32
Boston
14
9
3
31
St. Louis
15
9
1
31
Montreal
13
10
4
30
Columbus
13
10
5
31
Islanders
13
11
2
28
Chicago
14
11
2
30
Pittsburgh
13
12
2
28
Anaheim
13
12
4
30
Toronto
11
11
6
28
Colorado
14
12
1
29
Atlanta
13
13
1
27
Nashville
13
10
2
28
Tampa Bay
12
13
2
26
Edmonton
13
15
1
27
Buffalo
12
12
1
25
Calgary
11
13
4
26
Florida
12
15
1
25
Phoenix
12
14
0
24
Washington
9
16
2
20
Los Angeles
10
15
2
22

Now, here are how the standings would look without the loser point…

NHL STANDINGS W/O OTL
EASTERN
WESTERN
 
W
L
Pts.
 
W
L
Pts.
Ottawa
17
10
34
Detroit
19
8
38
Carolina
15
12
30
Minnesota
15
12
30
Philadelphia
15
11
30
Dallas
15
14
30
New Jersey
15
12
30
St. Louis
15
10
30
Rangers
15
12
30
Vancouver
15
12
30
Boston
14
12
28
San Jose
14
12
28
Islanders
13
13
26
Chicago
14
13
28
Pittsburgh
13
14
26
Columbus
13
15
26
Montreal
13
14
26
Anaheim
13
16
26
Atlanta
13
14
26
Colorado
14
13
28
Buffalo
12
13
24
Nashville
13
12
26
Tampa Bay
12
15
24
Edmonton
13
16
26
Florida
12
16
24
Phoenix
12
14
24
Toronto
11
17
22
Calgary
11
17
22
Washington
9
18
18
Los Angeles
10
17
20

To save you the hassle, here’s what would change:

In the East (using the 1-2-3 divisional seedings): 

  • The Rangers and Jersey would swap spots at 4-5 (based on goals-for)
  • The Isles would move up from eighth to seventh
  • Pittsburgh would move up from ninth to eighth
  • Montreal would drop down to ninth from seventh
  • Toronto would drop to 14th from 10th
  • Atlanta would move up from 11th to 10th
  • Buffalo would move up from 13th to 11th
  • Florida would move up from 14th to 13th
  • Teams ranked 1-3 would remain the same, as would Boston at No. 6, Tampa at No. 12 and Washington at No. 15

In the West:

  • Minnesota would move up from fifth to second
  • Dallas would drop to third from second
  • Vancouver would drop to fifth from third
  • San Jose and St. Louis would swap spots at 4-6
  • Columbus and Chicago would swap spots at 7-8
  • Phoenix and Calgary would swap spots at 13-14
  • Teams ranked nine through 12 would all stay the same, as would L.A. at No. 15 and Detroit at No. 1


So what does this tell me? That the loser point is useless. No team would move up or down more than two spots, other than the Leafs, who drop four. And no team would gain or lose more than four points in the standings, other than the Leafs (minus-6) and Columbus (minus-5).

A win is a win and a loss is a loss and I don’t care whether that win or loss comes in regulation, OT or the shootout.

And never mind the philosophical debate; behold the simplicity of the W-L system. No more having to calculate a team’s percentage of points won in order to figure out winning percentage. If you’re 6-8, you’re winning percentage is .427, plain and simple.

So simple, in fact, it’s scary.

But the NHL needn’t be scared, because this change is addition by subtraction. The numbers don’t lie.

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