Skip to main content Blog: The myth of the 'loser point'

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

I’ve read in a few places recently, including THN’s own pages in our playoff preview edition, that – despite any problems with the “loser point” system – at least it’s providing excitement by keeping the playoff races tight.

It would be a great theory, if it wasn’t complete b.s.

Going to a straight wins-are-wins, losses-are-losses system would leave the standings virtually the same at the bottom: four points would separate eighth and 10th in the East (the spread currently is five) and four points would separate eighth and 11th in the West (it’s currently three).

In addition, the top-end races would be even closer, with only four points separating first and third in the East, instead of 10, and two points separating the Sharks and Wings in the West, instead of four.

I’ve laid out my various arguments against the NHL’s current point system time and time again, as have others, so I won’t rehash.

I’ll simply let the numbers speak for themselves (view the NHL’s current standings HERE).

A other few tidbits rolling around in a head devoid of a singular blog idea…

• No disrespect to the Columbus youngster, but the fact Steve Mason is getting lots of Calder, Vezina and, yes, even Hart buzz, while Nashville’s Pekka Rinne gets little is an injustice.

• I’m hardly going out on a limb here, but the Kings will make the playoffs next season.

• Do you know what team Cal O'Reilly and Mike Santorelli play for? (I’ll give you a hint: It’s an NHL squad.)

• I’m hardly going out on a limb here, but the Wild will not make the playoffs (again) next season.

• Remember when some people thought the Dallas Stars were going to win the Stanley Cup?

• In case you were wondering, my pre-season Cup pick was the Sharks. Still is.

• If the Red Wings don’t repeat as champions, it won’t be because of goaltending; it’ll be because, by the time they reach this year’s final they’ll have played more than 200 games over the past two seasons. That’s a lot of hockey, even with the extra rest at the all-start break.

• The Hall of Fame waived the three-years-retired clause for Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky; they should do the same for Hayley Wickenheiser whenever she retires.

• It’s really something that three of the league’s top four (75 percent) and four of its top six (66.6 percent) scorers come from a nation that makes up 3.3 percent of players who’ve played in a game in the NHL this season (32 of 956). Do I need to elaborate on what country that is?

• Year-end award winners (not necessarily who I’d pick, but rather who will win): Hart: Ovechkin; Vezina: Mason; Norris: Lidstrom; Calder: Mason; Jack Adams: Julien (but not if the Blues or Preds make the playoffs); Masterton: Gagne; Lady Byng: Datsyuk; Selke: Datsyuk.

• The Devils better pray they don’t draw the Rangers in the first round. The Blueshirts are 13-2-3 against the Devils when Sean Avery is in the lineup.

• After spending the majority of the season with Milwaukee of the American League, O'Reilly and Santorelli are currently playing for the Predators, thanks to the fact three of their top six forwards (Martin Erat, Jason Arnott, David Legwand) are on the shelf.

Edward Fraser is the editor of His blog normally appears Thursdays.

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



What to Watch: Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues (Game 3)

There's just one game on tap on Saturday, but it's going to be a doozy. Here's the key for success for both the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues this evening.


Florida’s dismal special teams have them in hot water

The grind-it-out style of playoff hockey some fans are used to, may be behind us. More penalties are being called, and it's causing issues for the Florida Panthers.


Can the Rangers Weather the Hurricanes?

The star-caliber players at the top of the Rangers lineup will need to be firing on all cylinders in this series in order to compensate for some lackluster depth in areas. And Igor Shesterkin needs to be the King he was in the regular season, too, to beat Carolina.