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 Does the NHL need to change its point system? Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 03/27/2006 :  08:37:43  Show Profile
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been many news and media personalities suggesting that the NHL should change its point awarding system. They argue that there are many flaws associated with awarding points to both the winners and losers of a game that goes beyond regulation time. Currently, the winner of a game that ends in regulation receives two points and the loser none. If the game is won in overtime or by way of shootout, the winner receives two points and the loser a single point. Many feel that this system causes teams to sit back during the third period of a tied game, and stop taking any offensive chances in fear of losing out on the guaranteed point. Then once the point is secured, they are free to push for the second point.

One proposed solution is to do what the European football leagues did when they felt that they needed to encourage teams to play for the win rather than hold on for the tie: make a win worth three points. Ties were still possible where each team received a point, but having three points awarded for a win was supposed to increase scoring and reduce the number of ties. It failed to do either. Statistics show that goal scoring has not increased with the rule change, nor has there been a decrease in the number of ties.

Another problem that many have with the NHLís current system is that it awards two points for some games and three points for others; although this system has eliminated the dreaded tie, many still criticize its fairness. Making a regulation win worth three points would solve this problem making all games worth the same number of points.

Is changing the system and awarding three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime/shootout win, one for an overtime/shootout loss, and zero for a regulation loss really the answer? I believe it is. It may not do anything to encourage a team to play for the regulation win as evidenced in European football, but it will make every game worth three points, which is fair.

The NHL has made a number of adjustments to its points awarding system over the past few years. Prior to this season and the introduction of the shootout, the system was very similar to what it is now; the only difference being that if the two teams were still tied after the five minute overtime, the game ended in a tie with each team receiving one point. And, the system before that did not award the team losing in overtime with any points. It simply gave two points to the winning team, zero to the losing team, and one point each in the case of a tie. The NHL made changes to its systems to help better the game. In my opinion they have done a good job of doing so, and awarding three points for every game would make it even better.

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