Now that the Leafs are winners of 6 straight, well...I guess technically speaking winners of 4 regulation wins in 6 games, I think it's time for a little discussion on this issue.
It's time the NHL reforms ROW. More specifically, how extended play determines standings.
First, it's time to eliminate with the generally useless 4 on 4 OT, or dump the shootout. Either works for me.
I'm not a fan of how the Leafs have played in many games this season, and on the outside at least, it appears there were times where they've been coasting into shootout.
The Leafs, though, aren't a specific case. There have been more shootouts this season than in previous ones. Which means, the NHL is taking something a bit back from the game.
So let's look at the results so far this season:
Team Shootout Wins and Losses: 2013-14 NHL Season
Shootout Wins and Losses details the total number of shootouts a team has been in during the season as well as shootouts won, lost and the percentage of shootouts won.
|Team||Shootouts||SO Wins||SO Losses||SO Win %|
|1||Toronto Maple Leafs||13||9||4||0.692|
|3||San Jose Sharks||13||8||5||0.615|
|4||Los Angeles Kings||10||6||4||0.600|
|7||New York Islanders||9||6||3||0.667|
|10||Tampa Bay Lightning||8||5||3||0.625|
|14||St. Louis Blues||6||4||2||0.667|
|15||Columbus Blue Jackets||5||4||1||0.800|
|21||New York Rangers||5||3||2||0.600|
|24||Detroit Red Wings||9||2||7||0.222|
|30||New Jersey Devils||8||0||8||0.000|
Team Shootout Wins and Losses By Season:
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993 | 1992 | 1991 | 1990 |
So unlike last season the Leafs have been mostly successful in the shootout. They are also tops in the NHL in shootouts.
So what am I getting at with this?
Currently, the NHL awards 2 points to the team that wins, 1 point to the loser in the shootout or 0 points if by loss in regulation. Regardless of wins in regulation or in the shootout. This basically punishes teams that don't win in regulation, and rewards teams that need extended play.
Of course, there are many different factors that can effect/affect the outcome of regulation play. Missed calls, lucky goals, bad bounces, etc.
But, I'm not big on awarding the same points to winners of OT or the SO. My belief is that this system rewards those that can't capitalize on winning during regulation play, and thus skews the overall standings. (I also don't enjoy seeing my team play an extra 15 minutes when I need to go to bed for work the next day.)
So what's my solution?
4 on 4 OT play isn't determining a winner often enough. If the NHL chooses to use it, it needs serious reform.
So what are my wild suggestions?
1) Go to 3 on 3 in extended play instead of 4 on 4. It would open up even more ice for rushes, and thus increase scoring chances for OT. Teams could be equally lucky at winning in the SO, just as they would be in OT.
2) Eliminate extended OT entirely. It's not determining a clear winner often enough. The Leafs, among many teams seem to coast through OT with an unwritten gentleman's agreement that both teams should just go to the SO.
3)If the NHL is intent on keeping the shootout, then reform how points are awarded.
I'm a big believer that the NHL is coddling the teams that aren't winning in regulation. I don't think this is fair way to determine standings. My suggestion:
2 points for winners in regulation.
If the NHL is intent on keeping both extended play and regulation:
1. points for winners in the shootout and .5 point for the losers in the shootout or, 1.5 points for winners in OT and 1 pt for losers in OT.
I believe this system would better determine: 'legitimate winners.' My belief is that the current system rewards many teams that aren't trying hard enough to win during regulation play. It shouldn't be like this. Teams that play hard during regulation, and win, should be rewarded. They shouldn't merit the same point totals that teams that aren't going through extended play.
There has also been some talk of increasing wins to 3 points. But that viewpoint is a bit skewed because it could make for too many teams with 100+ points over the course of an 82 game season.
I don't approve of ties in the standings. Only Don Cherry's attire can sway my opinion on that.