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  • 03/11/2013, 02:26PM ET

Hockey standings

CuntryBlumpkin (305-247-64) vs Bigalke (142-42-16)
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Good luck Mr Alke.

I'm not a follower of hockey, I've watched maybe 2 games from beginning to end, but as a sports fan in general, I am strongly opposed to rewarding a loser, which is why the points system that the NHL uses to determine the season standings makes no sense to me.

As far as I'm concerned a loss is a loss, no matter if the game lasts 15 hours, or is forfeited before it starts. Imagine if the NFL, MLB or NBA rewarded what is essentially half a win to a team that loses in OT/Extra innings.

I think the NHL should scrap their points system and use the win-loss record to determine standings instead of a points system.

The win-loss system is a lot more simple, it's the system that all other professional team sports league in the US use, and it's the one that most sports fans know.

I think the fact that a team with a worse record can be ahead of another team in its division with a better record simply because the team has been in a lot of overtime affairs is a bit ridiculous.

If you have the best record in the division, you should be worrying about how many games ahead of your closest competition you are, not how many points ahead you are.


The problem is not points themselves; the problem is this rather modern infatuation with determining a winner at all costs. The points became garbled only when we decided that being level after 60 minutes wasn't enough to declare a draw.

A regular season is a leveling ground to determine who enters the postseason; we shouldn't need a nightly winner to get there. If one team proves superior after sixty, they've earned two points while the other team gets nothing. If they're deadlocked, split the points and move on. By the end of the season, every team has played exactly 82 hours and the standings will settle out who makes the quest for the Stanley Cup.

Hockey is physically taxing, with as much concussion risk as football. Why prolong the minutes on the ice just to contrive a winner by any means necessary? It also requires aerobic stamina to an extent no other physical sport asks.

It comes down to this: would you rather wear out players in the regular season just to sort things out by wins and losses or have as many players as possible healthy for the playoffs? A point system and 60-minute contests is the fairest way to determine regular-season standings...


Ties are a terrible thing, and I fully understand why the NHL wants to do anything in their power to prevent ties from happening. From an outsiders perspective, a sport where ties are commonplace just doesn't seem appealing to me. When I sit down to watch a game, I want to know that there's at least a 99% chance that the game will have a decided winner and loser.


The TD isn't about whether or not the NHL should bring back the old points system, or bring back ties though, it's about ditching the points system and going with the win-loss record determining standings.

It really doesn't matter if ties are brought back or not, the fact the a professional team sports league uses a points system instead of wins and losses is a bit ridiculous to me. Where I come from, a win is a win, a loss is a loss. There's no need for a points system.

And if the points system is a must, why are they rewarding a losing team in OT? When you lose, you should get absolutely nothing regardless of how close of a game you played and how good of a fight you put up.


"The TD isn't about"... arguing different policies to see which would be more viable and valuable for hockey? YOU are arguing that scrapping the points system for wins and losses alone is the best method; you still have to refute MY argument, though, Outlaw. Don't try to obfuscate the protocol of debating.

All you have done to counter my claims is to denigrate draws and discuss the current system. What you haven't done is show how having some games go into multiple overtimes (or, conversely, a shootout that removes the win-loss decision from game action) is preferable in the regular season.

You failed to answer the question at the heart of my opening argument. Is figuring out a winner at any cost more important than athlete health? Is it fair to force some teams to play far more than 82 hours over the course of a regular season solely for the sake of YOU wanting a winner every time?

I reiterate that a point system and a set time limit on regular-season games is the most equitable way of determining playoff standings. Keep the sudden death for the Stanley Cup bracket, for only there are wins and losses integral to the experience...

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March 11, 2013  02:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Being "2.5 games" out of first place sounds equally as dumb, doesn't it?

Not really, because at the end of the season, there are no half games, and that half game will disappear whenever one of the teams plays when the other has the day off.

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March 11, 2013  02:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Pretty much, except in the rare case of an NFL tie.

True, but they don't happen often enough to change the meaning of what I said.

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March 11, 2013  02:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I'm just saying, what if a team is half a game out of first place? Is there a chance that they can be in first place once the 5th inning of their game starts? Nope.

Who cares?

After 162 games, you'll see no half game increments in the standings. Half games in the standings are used when teams have played an uneven amount of games, and the half game will be gone once when team plays while the other has the day off. In hockey, they reward losers.

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