Skip to main content Blog: Loser point for losers

Let’s face it, nobody likes losers.

That is, of course, unless you’re the NHL, which seems to have no problem with them whatsoever and, in fact, would like to give them a helping hand whenever possible.

What other explanation can there be for giving teams the absurd and mathematically maddening overtime-loss point? To demonstrate my point, here are the current NHL standings…

Now, here are how the standings would look without the loser point…

To save you the hassle, here’s what would change:

In the East (using the 1-2-3 divisional seedings):

  • The Rangers and Jersey would swap spots at 4-5 (based on goals-for)
  • The Isles would move up from eighth to seventh
  • Pittsburgh would move up from ninth to eighth
  • Montreal would drop down to ninth from seventh
  • Toronto would drop to 14th from 10th
  • Atlanta would move up from 11th to 10th
  • Buffalo would move up from 13th to 11th
  • Florida would move up from 14th to 13th
  • Teams ranked 1-3 would remain the same, as would Boston at No. 6, Tampa at No. 12 and Washington at No. 15

In the West:

  • Minnesota would move up from fifth to second
  • Dallas would drop to third from second
  • Vancouver would drop to fifth from third
  • San Jose and St. Louis would swap spots at 4-6
  • Columbus and Chicago would swap spots at 7-8
  • Phoenix and Calgary would swap spots at 13-14
  • Teams ranked nine through 12 would all stay the same, as would L.A. at No. 15 and Detroit at No. 1

So what does this tell me? That the loser point is useless. No team would move up or down more than two spots, other than the Leafs, who drop four. And no team would gain or lose more than four points in the standings, other than the Leafs (minus-6) and Columbus (minus-5).

A win is a win and a loss is a loss and I don’t care whether that win or loss comes in regulation, OT or the shootout.

And never mind the philosophical debate; behold the simplicity of the W-L system. No more having to calculate a team’s percentage of points won in order to figure out winning percentage. If you’re 6-8, you’re winning percentage is .427, plain and simple.

So simple, in fact, it’s scary.

But the NHL needn’t be scared, because this change is addition by subtraction. The numbers don’t lie.


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