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NHL's point system - does it really work?


Kaufbeurer
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4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is a better W-L-OTL record?

    • 16-15-0 is better than 15-13-0
      1
    • 15-13-0 is better than 16-15-0
      3
    • 15-13-0 and 16-15-0 are equally good
      0


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Can anyone explain why the NHL sorts teams by points earned during the season and not by a more balanced method such as points percentage or games above/below .500? For example, if the Canadiens are 15-13-0 and the Maple Leafs are 16-15-0, the Maple Leafs, at 16-15-0, are listed ahead. But if the Celtics are 15-13 and the Knicks are 16-15, then the Celtics, at 15-13, are listed ahead.

Additionally, let's say the Canadiens are 10-8-0 and the Senators are 10-7-1. The Senators are listed ahead of the Canadiens. The Senators lose 3 straight games while the Canadiens don't play and are now 10-10-1. The Senators are still listed ahead. Yet if the Yankees are 10-8-0 & Red Sox are 10-7-0 and then the Red Sox lose 3 straight while the Yankees don't play, the Red Sox fall behind the Yankees.

Why does the NHL use a system for sorting the teams in which a regulation loss has the net equivalent of not playing?

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Can anyone explain why the NHL sorts teams by points earned during the season and not by a more balanced method such as points percentage or games above/below .500? For example, if the Canadiens are 15-13-0 and the Maple Leafs are 16-15-0, the Maple Leafs, at 16-15-0, are listed ahead. But if the Celtics are 15-13 and the Knicks are 16-15, then the Celtics, at 15-13, are listed ahead.

Additionally, let's say the Canadiens are 10-8-0 and the Senators are 10-7-1. The Senators are listed ahead of the Canadiens. The Senators lose 3 straight games while the Canadiens don't play and are now 10-10-1. The Senators are still listed ahead. Yet if the Yankees are 10-8-0 & Red Sox are 10-7-0 and then the Red Sox lose 3 straight while the Yankees don't play, the Red Sox fall behind the Yankees.

Why does the NHL use a system for sorting the teams in which a regulation loss has the net equivalent of not playing?

It's just a way of sorting teams when they don't play an even number of games. Can I tell you why it is the way it is? Unfortunately, no. It seems pretty arbitrary to me for all sports.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Every team will have played 48 games at the end of the season, so nobody compares how they compare when some have played 28 and some 25. Also, the NHL does, IMO, have a pretty fair tiebreak system after even games, based on wins not including shootouts (rewarding better team play) and then head to head matchups IIRC.

That's not to say I don't think the NHL could change the format for rewarding points so that the 2012 Florida Panthers doesn't happen again. I personally like the 3 point format used by the IIHF, but I think the points system in general is overrated as far as the effect it has on which teams make the playoffs.

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Can anyone explain why the NHL sorts teams by points earned during the season and not by a more balanced method such as points percentage or games above/below .500? For example, if the Canadiens are 15-13-0 and the Maple Leafs are 16-15-0, the Maple Leafs, at 16-15-0, are listed ahead. But if the Celtics are 15-13 and the Knicks are 16-15, then the Celtics, at 15-13, are listed ahead.

Additionally, let's say the Canadiens are 10-8-0 and the Senators are 10-7-1. The Senators are listed ahead of the Canadiens. The Senators lose 3 straight games while the Canadiens don't play and are now 10-10-1. The Senators are still listed ahead. Yet if the Yankees are 10-8-0 & Red Sox are 10-7-0 and then the Red Sox lose 3 straight while the Yankees don't play, the Red Sox fall behind the Yankees.

Why does the NHL use a system for sorting the teams in which a regulation loss has the net equivalent of not playing?

Powerplay is right that, in the end, it doesn't really matter what system you use. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure a points-based system would sort all the teams the same as any %-based system would after everyone is done the full season.

The cursed 3rd point skews things, yeah, but the aforementioned tiebreaker does weigh regulation wins more than extra time wins, which I think makes sense & is fair.

I think the reason the NHL prefers points-based is because it is easier to tell how far apart teams are, especially with the infernal 3rd point. A win % doesn't tell me how many games my team needs to win to catch up or vice versa.

FWIW, when we calculate the Magic Number and sort the teams, we use "Net Losses", which negates to an extent the games-played differential. A regulation loss is worth 1 and an extra time loss is worth 1/2. It suits our purposes and after a full season is identical to the traditional NHL standings.

EDIT - Oh yeah. I voted 15-13-0 better than 16-15-0 because the former is only 28 games and the latter is 31. At 28 games, I can win 3 and be 18-13-0. At 31 games, I can't do any better. That net loss thing again. :)

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Guest habs1952

Additionally, let's say the Canadiens are 10-8-0 and the Senators are 10-7-1. The Senators are listed ahead of the Canadiens. The Senators lose 3 straight games while the Canadiens don't play and are now 10-10-1. The Senators are still listed ahead. Yet if the Yankees are 10-8-0 & Red Sox are 10-7-0 and then the Red Sox lose 3 straight while the Yankees don't play, the Red Sox fall behind the Yankees.

I think if teams have the same amount of points the team which leads(most wins/points) the season series between the two teams gets the higher placing. If the teams haven't played each other the team that has played the fewest games get the higher placing. I could be wrong.

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Although I agree that 15-13-0 is better than 16-15-0 because of the 3 games in hand, I like the current system and it all works out in the end. Bottomline is you need the points/wins to make the playoffs anyway and win percentage will work itself out accordingly.

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