NHL’s Third Point: A Relic Rule and No One Seems To Have Noticed

April 8th, 2010 by Joseph Massey Leave a reply »
The NHL brought in the overtime-loss point prior to the lockout. At the time, fans complained that teams would just "kill off" overtime. They were happy to just get the point, take the tie, and move on.

To combat this, the NHL gave both of them the point and figured they'd open up the game and make for more exciting hockey if neither side had anything to lose.

It worked.

Then, coming out of the lockout, they added another rule: the shootout.

And suddenly, the NHL had a relic rule that no longer mattered at all, but for some reason, no one complained, no one changed it, and no regular media commentators even seem to wonder why.

The fact is, now that every game will be decided one way or the other, the overtime-loss point is a relic of an outdated system.

It muddles the standings, makes things harder to understand for casual fans, and fails to accomplish its sole purpose: liven up overtimes.

With the addition of the shootout, it would be crazy to "kill off" overtime and play for the shootout. If the shootout is anything, it's a crapshoot—it's an entertaining one, but one nonetheless.


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