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I listen to people complain about the 3 point games and at this time of the year there are more complaints than ever. I hear Gary Bettman explain on his radio show that the races are more exciting than ever and the shootout is great for the game.

I say bullshirt! Nobody goes to the game hoping to see a shootout. I feel this is ruining the sport just like the 3 point shot has destroyed basketball.

I did the work thanks to Sportsnet which has a complete standings page that shows OT Wins, OT Losses, Shoot Out Wins and Shootout losses. Thank you Sportsnet - the link is:

I reapplied the rules of the sport pre-shootout. 2 points for a win in regulation or OT and 0 - yes nada, nothing, zippo - for losing in regulation or OT. After OT - no shootout so the game is a tie!

Here are the current (as of noon 4/8/09) standings for just the Eastern Conference.

Position Team W L OTL Points
1 Boston 51 18 10 112
2 Washington 49 23 8 106
3 New Jersey 49 27 4 102
4 Carolina 45 28 7 97
5 Philadelphia 43 25 11 97
6 Pittsburgh 43 28 9 95
7 Montreal 41 29 10 92
8 NY Rangers 41 30 9 91
9 Florida 39 30 11 89
10 Buffalo 38 32 9 85
11 Ottawa 36 34 10 82
12 Toronto 33 34 13 79
13 Atlanta 34 40 6 74
14 Tampa Bay 24 38 18 66
15 NY Islanders 26 44 9 61

This has been driving me crazy for the last few seasons. There are not this many good teams. The 8th and 9th place teams are going to have 90 points and 1 will miss the playoffs. Insane how many good teams now huh? WRONG!! It's mirrors created by the Bettman crew. Here are the standings adjusted to pre-Shootout and OTL counting for a point.

Position Team W L T Pts
1 Boston 45 24 10 100
2 Washington 39 28 9 87
3 New Jersey 35 29 7 77
4 Carolina 35 33 8 78
5 Philadelphia 33 31 10 76
6 Pittsburgh 31 34 12 74
7 Montreal 30 36 14 74
8 NY Rangers 28 36 16 72
9 Florida 32 38 11 75
10 Buffalo 28 37 13 69
11 Ottawa 29 39 9 67
12 Toronto 23 41 13 59
13 Atlanta 23 41 8 54
14 Tampa Bay 19 48 13 51
15 NY Islanders 20 49 8 48

Now you will notice that Florida not only is ahead of the NYR but also Montreal without all the inflated points. Also notice that the teams records reflect the parity of the league more. The Rangers, for example are not a 90 point team that shows a good season (from the days of old). They are a team that is 28 W, 36 L and 16 T. A below .500 team.

My problem is that the point for being tied has created a bunch of teams that are happy to "get a point" and are willing to roll the dice for the extra point. In other words, many teams have lost the killer instinct.

Updated with all 3 point games. 3 for a regulation win, 2 for OT or Shootout win, 1 for an OT or Shootout Loss.

Team Points - all 3 Point
Boston 163
Washington 150
New Jersey 139
Carolina 137
Philadelphia 136
Pittsburgh 132
Montreal 129
Florida 129
NY Rangers 125
Buffalo 118
Ottawa 116
Toronto 109
Atlanta 98
Tampa Bay 95
NY Islanders 86
Filed Under:   NHL Standings   Shootout  
April 8, 2009 1:42 PM ET | Delete
Yes! Yes! You're absolutely right. The shoot-out and three point system is a complete disaster. But it's not going anywhere soon because it makes all the teams look competitive. As you say, the whole thing distorts the standings. It's also confusing for those elusive new fans they keep looking for. The shoot-out exists to get the NHL on the evening sports programs because it's so exciting. Really? Ugh.
April 8, 2009 1:43 PM ET | Delete
Not only that, let me give you another example. Two teams split a series 2-2 but one game goes to OT. The team that won the game in OT has a record of 2-2 (4 points). The team that LOST in OT has a record of 2-1-1 (5 points) and officially won the series.
April 8, 2009 2:25 PM ET | Delete
The shootout itself is a joke, and the standings are that much more of a joke. Many of the playoff teams have an extra 20 points from the 3-point/shootout inflation. The Devils have 25!!! What a complete farce.
April 8, 2009 2:58 PM ET | Delete
I like the shootout and do hope it goes to it some games, but i do not like the 3 point game a loss is a loss and should not be an extra point. but if im at a bar drinking and the game goes to a shoot out the bar goes nuts and everyone is on the edge of there seats, and when your team wins your way more excited then if there was a tie or something, thats just depressing ...pro shootout anti 3 point games
April 8, 2009 2:59 PM ET | Delete
It's all pretty much the same results. So there's no point in any change the way you suggest. These are not "the days of old". Better than both of those 'systems', I think, would be the 3 points for every game system. Win in reg time -- 3 points; lose -- 0 points. Win in overtime or shootout -- 2 points; lose in OT or So -- 1 point. That way every game is worth 3 points as compared to now when only some games are worth 3 points and others 2.
April 8, 2009 3:12 PM ET | Delete
Good idea. Here are the standings adjusted with all 3 point games. Win in Regulation = 3 points. Win in OT or Shootout = 2 points. Loss in OT or Shootout = 1 point.TeamPoints - all 3 PointBoston 163Washington150New Jersey139Carolina 137Philadelphia136Pittsburgh 132Montreal 129NY Rangers125Florida 129Buffalo 118Ottawa 116Toronto 109Atlanta 98Tampa Bay 95NY Islanders 86This still pushes the Rangers out of the playoffs currently.
April 8, 2009 4:11 PM ET | Delete
Reg or OT win = 2 -- Shootout win = 1 -- Loss = 0
April 8, 2009 11:30 PM ET | Delete
Amen Szandor...been saying that for, oh, 4 years now...
April 9, 2009 1:43 AM ET | Delete
I can't believe that any hockey fan would really want a game decided by a shoot-out. It just seems like a farce to me. Why bother going through the game at all? Why not also include that target shooting competition as well? Or flip a coin? Of course, I never knew what the problem was with a tie in the first place...
April 9, 2009 7:28 AM ET | Delete
sounds like you just hate the Rangers
April 9, 2009 9:14 AM ET | Delete
That's right JS, where do you think I got the idea? hahaha
April 9, 2009 10:52 AM ET | Delete
Hypothetically, a team can go win less for the entire season, pick up 82 points and make the Playoffs. How about this or is it to logical. 2 points if you win, 0 points if you lose. No kissing your sister points.
April 9, 2009 11:50 AM ET | Delete
This is just typical anti-NY bias, nobody would ever complain about this unless it was the Rangers benefitting the most.
April 9, 2009 12:24 PM ET | Delete
szandor: your scenario has the same problem as the one in place -- some games are worth more than others. It should be the same number of points available for every game -- whether it be 2 or 3.
April 9, 2009 8:21 PM ET | Delete
Actually this is not directed at any team. I am a Flyers fan, no secret there. However the Flyers are benefiting from this stupid rule now and I still hate it. The shootout is NOT HOCKEY! If they did a powerplay contest, at least it is a hockey game deciding the game - just like NCAA college football. Also as the season winds down, some games are more valuable than other games. That is just stupid!
April 10, 2009 12:06 PM ET | Delete
They should invent a point system that keeps the Rangers out of the playoffs no matter what they do, that will learn em
April 12, 2009 1:54 AM ET | Delete
You realize the standings in the East were exactly the same though point totals were different when you adjusted them. That being said I understand the argument against the shootout, after all the hard work of both teams to keep the game tied it isn't fair to be declared loser just because of a shootout goal. On the other hand I also see how having a 0-0 game can be boring, but that would probably not happen very often.
April 12, 2009 12:35 PM ET | Delete
The standings weren;t the same Florida had more points than the Rangers and the Flyers fell to 5th
April 13, 2009 7:29 AM ET | Delete
The Rangers made the playoffs fair and square, enough from the Flyer haters.
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