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THN.com Blog: The myth of the 'loser point'

The Capitals would trail the Bruins for top spot in the East by only four points under a 2-0 point system. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Capitals would trail the Bruins for top spot in the East by only four points under a 2-0 point system. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

I’ve read in a few places recently, including THN’s own pages in our playoff preview edition, that – despite any problems with the “loser point” system – at least it’s providing excitement by keeping the playoff races tight.

It would be a great theory, if it wasn’t complete b.s.

Going to a straight wins-are-wins, losses-are-losses system would leave the standings virtually the same at the bottom: four points would separate eighth and 10th in the East (the spread currently is five) and four points would separate eighth and 11th in the West (it’s currently three).

In addition, the top-end races would be even closer, with only four points separating first and third in the East, instead of 10, and two points separating the Sharks and Wings in the West, instead of four.

I’ve laid out my various arguments against the NHL’s current point system time and time again, as have others, so I won’t rehash.

I’ll simply let the numbers speak for themselves (view the NHL’s current standings HERE).

NHL STANDINGS W/O OTL
EASTERN CONFERENCE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 
W
L
Pts.
 
W
L
Pts.
Boston Bruins
49
27
98
San Jose Sharks
50
26
100
Washington Capitals
47
30
94
Detroit Red Wings
49
27
98
New Jersey Devils
47
30
94
Calgary Flames
43
33
86
Pittsburgh Penguins
42
25
84
Vancouver Canucks
42
34
84
Carolina Hurricanes
42
35
84
Chicago Blackhawks
15
12
82
Philadelphia Flyers
41
35
82
Columbus Blue Jackets
40
37
80
New York Rangers
40
37
80
Anaheim Ducks
14
13
78
Montreal Canadiens
39
37
78
Nashville Predators
39
38
76
Florida Panthers
38
38
76
St. Louis Blues
37
40
74
Buffalo Sabres
37
39
74
Edmonton Oilers
36
41
72
Ottawa Senators
33
43
66
Minnesota Wild
36
41
72
Atlanta Thrashers
33
44
66
Dallas Stars
34
43
68
Toronto Maple Leafs
32
45
64
Phoenix Coyotes
33
44
66
New York Islanders
25
51
50
Los Angeles Kings
31
45
62
Tampa Bay
24
53
48
Colorado
31
46
62

A other few tidbits rolling around in a head devoid of a singular blog idea…

Related Links

• No disrespect to the Columbus youngster, but the fact Steve Mason is getting lots of Calder, Vezina and, yes, even Hart buzz, while Nashville’s Pekka Rinne gets little is an injustice.

• I’m hardly going out on a limb here, but the Kings will make the playoffs next season.

• Do you know what team Cal O'Reilly and Mike Santorelli play for? (I’ll give you a hint: It’s an NHL squad.)

• I’m hardly going out on a limb here, but the Wild will not make the playoffs (again) next season.

• Remember when some people thought the Dallas Stars were going to win the Stanley Cup?

• In case you were wondering, my pre-season Cup pick was the Sharks. Still is.

• If the Red Wings don’t repeat as champions, it won’t be because of goaltending; it’ll be because, by the time they reach this year’s final they’ll have played more than 200 games over the past two seasons. That’s a lot of hockey, even with the extra rest at the all-start break.

• The Hall of Fame waived the three-years-retired clause for Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky; they should do the same for Hayley Wickenheiser whenever she retires.

• It’s really something that three of the league’s top four (75 percent) and four of its top six (66.6 percent) scorers come from a nation that makes up 3.3 percent of players who’ve played in a game in the NHL this season (32 of 956). Do I need to elaborate on what country that is?

• Year-end award winners (not necessarily who I’d pick, but rather who will win): Hart: Ovechkin; Vezina: Mason; Norris: Lidstrom; Calder: Mason; Jack Adams: Julien (but not if the Blues or Preds make the playoffs); Masterton: Gagne; Lady Byng: Datsyuk; Selke: Datsyuk.

• The Devils better pray they don’t draw the Rangers in the first round. The Blueshirts are 13-2-3 against the Devils when Sean Avery is in the lineup.

• After spending the majority of the season with Milwaukee of the American League, O'Reilly and Santorelli are currently playing for the Predators, thanks to the fact three of their top six forwards (Martin Erat, Jason Arnott, David Legwand) are on the shelf.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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