Should the NHL ditch their “loser point” system?

Jeff Gross

I am big fan of the NCHC's new overtime rule. Think about this, there will be "0" points for a loss during the five-minute overtime period, in other words, the losing team receives nothing, nada, nix, nine, nay, zilch.

I was reading the Wilderness Walk yesterday...by the way, I recommend that you read the Hockey Wilderness every day. Okay, this genius idea on how to fix the NHL happened to come to mind. Seriously, not that the NHL is all that flawed, because it's not, however, there are a few minor tweaks that I would make, if I could become the commissioner for a year or two.

On Thursday it was announced that he National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) will also use a points system that is "similar" to the one that NHL uses during the regular season to award points for conference wins and ties. The only two exceptions are; teams that lose during the sudden-death overtime period will not receive a single point, like teams in the NHL currently do. Also, NHL teams do not get three points for a win in overtime.

All NCHC regular-season conference match-ups will feature a shootout should the game end in a tie at the conclusion of a five-minute overtime period. Any game that uses a shootout will be officially recorded as a tie within the overall record of each team. The Pairwise ranking will be calculated knowing the game was officially recorded as a tie.

The shootout will feature three shooters pre-selected by each team following the conclusion of overtime. The team that scores the most goals among the three shooters will be declared the winner. Should the shootout be tied at the conclusion of the initial three shooters, a sudden- death round with one shooter from each team will commence until a winner is declared. Goaltenders will remain on the same ends of the ice for the shootout as they were for the five-minute overtime period.

Each conference game will be worth three points. Three points will be awarded to any team that wins a game in regulation or within the five-minute sudden-death overtime period. One point will be awarded to each team in a game that remains tied at the conclusion of the overtime period. One additional point will be awarded to the team who wins the shootout, giving that team two points total for winning the game in a shootout. A team that loses in regulation or during the five-minute overtime period will receive zero points. [NCHC Hockey]

So, I am going to go on record and say that I am big fan of the NCHC's new overtime rule. Think about this, there will be "0" points for a loss during the five-minute overtime period, in other words, the losing team receives nothing, nada, nix, nine, nay, zilch. The losing team will receive zero loser points in the conference standing for losing in overtime, but why should they? I understand that once the game goes to a shootout that both teams deserve a point, but why reward a team losing during overtime with a point? For some reason the NHL does.

Moving forward, I would like to see the National Hockey League adopt this rule. It would allow for separation in the standings as well. I think the NCHC got it right, and the NHL could actually right a wrong with this simple rule change. I don't like the fact that the NHL awards points for losing. I have talked to many fans that don't like this rule. Many of these fans are hockey purists that also don't like the shootout, but that's a conversation for another day. Please tell me again, why should NHL teams be awarded for losing a game? Feel free to chime and let the debate begin...

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