There have been many blogs and and posts debating the validity of calling the Toronto Maple Leafs a .500 hockey team. Most notably is James Duthie's blog over at TSN, who brings up good arguments, but I think his perception is flawed. Some will say the Leafs are at .500 with a record of 12-12-6, while others say that they have a losing record at 12-18. Forunately for the Maple Leafs, the NHL uses a point system for the standings, the only one of the 'Big Four' leagues that does so.
Notice to Internet Explorer Users
So after 30 games, the Maple Leafs have accumulated 30 points out of a possible 60 points, which classifies them as a .500 hockey team.
The next argument is that the NHL should not award points for losses, this would cripple the Maple Leafs, leaving them with only 24 points. Under this logic, the Eastern Conference standings would look like this;
1. Ottawa Senators 36
2. New Jersey Devils 32
3. Carolina Hurricanes 32
4. New York Rangers 32
5. Boston Bruins 30
6. Philadelphia Flyers 30
7. Pittsbutgh Penguins 30
8. New York Islanders 28
9. Montreal Canadiens 28
10. Atlanta Thrashers 28
11. Buffalo Sabres 26
12. Tampa Bay Lightning 26
13. Florida Panthers 26
14. Toronto Maple Leafs 24
15. Washington Capitals 20
NEWSFLASH! The NHL does not award points for losses. This is a flawed argument by many and a common misconception. When regulation time ends (3 periods of 20 minutes) and the score is even, 1 point is then awarded to both teams for a tie. The game then goes into 5 minutes of 4-on-4 hockey and if need be a shootout to give one team the chance to win an extra point. I repeat, there are no points awarded for a loss of any kind, both teams earn the 1 point each after regulation, not after overtime.
The final argument is that the NHL should get rid of the point system all together, as none of the MLB, NFL or NBA use it. This is another flawed argument. The reason being that the average amount of games that go into overtime in those leagues is uncomparable to the NHL. On an average week, the NFL is lucky to have one overtime game, as with the NBA and MLB. The NHL has an average upwards of 15 overtime games per season, per hockey team. This is why the NHL cannot adopt a "games above/below" system.
James Duthie then goes onto say that if Soccer's World Cup can be decided by a shootout, then surely 2 points and only two points can be decided by a shootout in the NHL. Well James I don't know if you have ever watched the World Cup tournament, but the group stage before the knockout stage is determined by points, much like the NHL regular season. However, once you get to the knockout stages, and the games goes into overtime, the loser gets nothing. I don't know if you noticed this or not James, but in the NHL Playoffs, the loser of overtime gets nothing as well.
There is an issue with the form blow that will make it appear that nothing happens when you click the post message button below. To see your message, after you click the post message button, refresh this page. Sorry for the troubles, we hope to have it fixed soon.