# "Pts." in NHL standings--how calculated?

You can see it here

Division standings are based on this number. This doesn’t equal % wins. How is it calculated?

Two points for a win, one point for an overtime loss. It used to be a single point for a tie, and that was kept when overtime was added, with the idea that a team should get some credit for forcing overtime.

The single point for losing in overtime was introduced for the 99-2000 season. Between 1983, when overtime was re-instated for regular season play (it had been eliminated in 1942, for wartime considerations), and 1999, if you lost in overtime, you got nothing.

As to %: You can win, lose or lose in overtime.

Take the Islanders (please, haha):

50games 22Wins 20Losses 8OT Losses

22+20+8 = 50

Winning Pct is 22/50 = .440

Actually, I think you wanted your formula to read:

44 (pts for wins) + 0 (pts for losses) + 8 (pts for OT losses) = 50 points

In what universe does 44+0+8 equal 50?

The Islanders have 52 points at the moment, having played 50 games (GP).

22 W = 44pt
20 L = 0 pt
8 OL = 8 pt

Total = 52 points

22W/50 GP = .440 win percentage.

Of course, that means any OT game is worth 3 points, not 2, for both teams combined. If the NHL’s postseason eligibility rules weren’t so liberal, this might actually have an effect on divisional/conference races (such as they are/might be). They really should count a regulation win as 3 points, which would make things completely consistent and fair again.

No, it wouldn’t. Things would remain unfair, because teams would still be given credit for losing games in overtime, plus now you’re penalizing teams for games they WIN in overtime (assuming you award just 2 points for an OT win) so it’s still quite possible for a team to win fewer games than another team and make the playoffs over them.

Furthermore, the NHL’s liberal playoff standards (which are the same as the NBA and not far off the NFL) don’t make it any less unfair. You’re just drawing the line between 8th and 9th. It’s just as likely the make the wrong teams end up on the wrong side of that line.

As it stands, Philadelphia, with a winning record, is technically out of the playoffs despite winning more games than THREE teams in the Eastern Conference who’re in the playoffs, all of whom have losing records. Montreal is 11th, despite having the same wins in the same games played as the 8th-place Islanders. In the West, things are fair as of today, although the Kings are just a point ahead of Detroit despite winning three more games.

If you want to make it fair, make it just wins and losses.

The viewpoint I postulated, vis a vis a 16 team playoff pool vs. something smaller (like 8 or even 4), is that the Stanley Cup winning team is likely to come from the top half of the draw (tho in hockey at least that isn’t always guaranteed in the playoffs, if a goalie gets hot etc. as we’ve seen in the past), thus they won’t be the ones screwed out of a playoff slot, but rather some team which didn’t likely have much of a chance to begin with. Still sucks tho and still is unjust.

The unfairness of OT points comes along in a scenario like the following: Team A trails teams B & C going into the last week of the season (trailing both by say 2 points with 2 games left for everybody) for the last playoff slot. A has the tiebreaker edge on the others. B & C have a home and home with each other on the last weekend. If A wins out, they have to hope that both of the wins by the other two teams (must be a split) are in regulation, or they’re hosed, because even the loser(s) will get a point in an OT loss. If B & C split 2 OT games, A is screwed (+4 points for them and +3 for the others leave them out in the cold*). In a 3 points/game system, A still has a definite shot (+6 points for their two wins vs. +3 for the others no matter if its two OT or regulation wins, and hell at that point they don’t even need the bloody tiebreaker).

If you want to argue in favor of regulation ties being meaningless and giving no extra “bonuses”, go right ahead, but I think giving credit for same makes a certain amount of sense and is “fairer” than no points for the OT loser, esp. given how regular season OT is decided (shootouts ya know).

[*and either B or C win the tiebreaker-I’m not sure if they play 1 game playoffs to get in the regular postseason like they do in baseball)

The thinking is that you don’t deserve as many points if you can’t win in regulation. I think simple wins and losses would be the best way to go if you don’t allow ties.

The point for losing in overtime wasn’t instituted because someone thought it would be nice to reward teams for forcing overtime. It was instituted because teams weren’t trying to win in overtime, instead just protecting their one point for the tie. Since adding shootouts, it’s a completely useless and stupid rule.

The problem is that if you don’t give a point for an OT loss, you’ll still have a bunch of teams wander around aimlessly for 5 minutes waiting for a chance to win it in the shootout. And while regular season OTs only exist because Americans hate ties (I include myself in this), the NHL doesn’t seem to like the idea that you can play your butt off for 60 minutes of 5 on 5 hockey, then get nothing to show for it if you lose playing 4 on 4 or in a shootout.

If you think of the standings as “Wins, Losses and Basically A Tie” then the standings (and winning percentages of playoff participants) seem to make more sense. It’s as if the NHL had a standing rule where they said “OK, great game guys, that was a tie. Now, just for fun, play some 4 on 4 pond hockey so the fans don’t go home grumbling about anyone kissing his sister, and the winner gets an extra point just to spice things up.”

If the losing team doesn’t get a point, then any team that either expects the other team to have an advantage in the shootout or expects it to be more or less a coin flip will try to win during the regular overtime. You can win in overtime by being the better hockey team. That isn’t so much the case during the shootout. If at least one team is trying to score, you won’t have aimless wandering dominating overtime.

There is a way a team can get 0 points for an OT loss. It happens if you pull your goalie and give up an empty net goal. That only happens late in the year if a team really needs 2 points to make the playoffs.

The CCHA is the only league that does it right: Win in regulation or OT = 3 points. If you win in shootout after OT, you get 2 points and the loser gets 1 point. That way all games are worth the same # of points, unlike the NHL where OT games are worth 50% more points (3 instead of 2) for the 2 teams involved.

That might be better than the NHL’s system, but it’s not right.

What’s right is that the team either

1. Wins, or
2. Loses.

It’s a sport. Either you win or you lose. Wins and losses are the only manner in whcih hockey success should be measured. Throw in winning percentage there to help out if they’ve played an uneven number of games. Winning in OT should not be less valuable than winning in regulation; what makes it less impressive? Wouldn’t you expect a team to play more OT games if, say, they’re in a really tough division? This is the way the Eastern Conference standings SHOULD look:

New Jersey 34-16, .680
Washington 33-18, .647
Buffalo 30-20, .600 (ahead of Pittsburgh because they’re winning the NE Division)
Pittsburgh 32-21, .604
Ottawa 28-25, .528
Montreal 25-28, .472
New York Rangers 24-28, .461
Boston 23-28, .451
New York Islanders 23-29, .442
Atlanta 22-29, .431
Tampa Bay 21-30, .412
Toronto 17-36, .321
Carolina 16-35, .314
This crazy system not only looks a lot more elegant, but has the virtue of rewarding the teams that win the most games. It seems really, really obvious to me that team success should be measured by winning games.

Of course, I also think the NHL should play unlimited overtimes to decide games. Everyone thinks I’m crazy about that, but I say they’re pro athletes so suck it up, buttercups.

TV does not want unlimited OTs and neither do many fans. I went to a 3 OT playoff game and it was OK but I don’t want that for the regular season. (it almost went to 4 OTs) I got home around 2:30 AM. Good thing it was Sat. night. Strangest thing was the people next to me brought along a baby and they stayed for the entire game. For a lot of the time the baby slept on the floor under their seats.

RickJay, you’ve proven yourself to be a sober-minded commentator when it comes to all things in sports, but honestly, do you really want to have shootouts to have such a drastic effect on the standings? In the regular season there really isn’t much in the way of an alternative (4 on 4 for the first 10 minutes, then 3 on 3 from then on-still wouldn’t guarantee a quick resolution).

I like shootouts but I can see that not everyone likes them. I think Americans are not used to ties since no other major US sport has them. (except in rare cases for the NFL) College FB fans really like that they no longer have ties.

I think soccer needs to get rid of their shootuts for the world cup and other big events. But they are so resistant to change that is unlikely. NCAA title this year was decided on penalty kicks.