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THN.com Blog: The irritating loser point

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Back in early December, I wrote a blog entry on how I detest the “loser point” to the core of my being and provided how the standings would look if the NHL used a straight “two points for a win, none for a loss” system.

To save you having to click, the conclusion was, using either system, little changed in the standings.

A few readers, however, suggested comparing the systems so early in the season didn’t provide enough time for discrepancies to occur.

So with that in mind, here are the standings - not including Wednesday’s games – without the loser point. Division leaders are ranked 1-2-3.

As you can see, little changes.

In the East, the division leaders stay the same and no team moves up or down more than one spot.

In the West, Minnesota overtakes Calgary (who would drop to 10th) in the Northwest to take the No. 3 spot and Phoenix goes from 11th to seventh. Other than that, no team moves two spots higher or lower.

But math aside, the aspect of the “loser point” that irritates me the most – though needing a quantum physics degree to figure out the standings is perturbing in and of itself - is the very fact we need to reward losers in the first place.

This is a philosophy that, in theory, coddles teams and their fans by providing them with falsified above-.500 records and a supposed “it’s OK that we lost, we still got a point” attitudes.

In the same breath, teams can easily achieve extended winning streaks with overtime wins included, but losing streaks are a thing of the past, replaced by winless stretches (a.k.a. “We haven’t won a game in three weeks, but we do have points in seven of our last 12”).

It’s insulting, really.

Whether in regulation, OT or the shootout, a win is a win and a loss is a loss.

Anything else is just pseudo-P.C. pandering.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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