Saturday, August 05, 2006

Lose the 'Overtime Loss Point' System

Mike Mady writing for the American Chronicle thinks the NHL should do away with the present system of awarding a point to a team that makes it into overtime or the shootout... but then loses. I tend to agree.

I'll let Mike explain...
First and foremost under no circumstances should a team be rewarded for losing a game. No matter if the game is lost in 60 minutes or 65 minutes. One point doesn’t seem to be a lot, however that one point may be the difference between making the playoffs or golfing for the summer. The Edmonton Oilers made the playoffs by virtue of this system. They finished the regular season eighth place in the Western Conference (the last playoff spot) and had 41 wins. However, both the Los Angles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks had 42 wins but missed the playoffs in favor of the Oilers. Yes, the Oilers did make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, however; who’s to say the Kings or Canucks wouldn’t have made a similar run?

Many people in favor of the overtime loss point suggest that guaranteeing a point to the losing team encourages both teams to fight for the victory in overtime in order to gain the extra point. That was the original reason the league implemented the overtime loss point. A few seasons ago, when two teams would go to overtime, they would generally play for a tie, assuring they left the game with a point. When the league added the overtime loss point teams became much more aggressive in overtime which resulted in more exciting hockey. However, now the NHL has eliminated ties. Therefore if the overtime loss point was removed, teams would still be unable to play for ties, because they no longer exist.

It is unfair that certain teams in the NHL are higher in the standings than others with less wins. Points can be precious in the NHL regular season and they shouldn’t be given for losses. These extra points may be the deciding factor in some teams making or missing the playoffs. So why should a team that lost a few extra games in an overtime format that will not be used in the playoffs make the playoffs over a team that has more wins, but just happens to lose in regulation more often?

(my emphasis)
Complete article can be found >>> here.

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