Shootout Points Change Playoff Scenarios

Since the shootout has come into the NHL, the number of three point games has greatly increased. Instead of the occasional overtime win or overtime loss, mixed in with a lot of ties, we now always have a winner, meaning every overtime game is worth three points. I am not a fan of the shootouts. I don’t think it makes sense to have something in the regular season that you don’t in the postseason. And yes, the same would hold true for ties, but ties are not an entirely new aspect to the game like a shootout is.

When a team gets to the postseason, the shootout doesn’t mean anything. Look at Edmonton. Though they missed the playoffs, they won 15 shootouts compared to 4 overtime wins. Without a shootout, they would only have won 26 games this year. And I don’t see how winning games in a shootout would help a team in the postseason, so I decided to go back through all of the games and re-do the standings, with any game making it to a shootout becoming a tie, but still allowing 2 points for an overtime win and 2 points for an overtime loss. In other words, the system used before the shootout was implemented.

As of Saturday, April 5, 2:30PM

Eastern Conference

1. Montreal Canadiens 41-25-11-5 98 Points
2. Pittsburgh Penguins 40-26-11-4 95 Points
3. Carolina Hurricanes 41-33-5-3 90 Points
4. New Jersey Devils 38-29-11-3 90 Points
5. Philadelphia Flyers 38-29-9-5 90 Points
6. Washington Capitals 38-31-8-4 88 Points
7. Boston Bruins 35-28-13-5 88 Points
8. New York Rangers 34-27-16-4 88 Points

9. Ottawa Senators 38-31-8-3 87 Points
10. Buffalo Sabres 33-31-14-3 83 Points
11. Toronto Maple Leafs 33-34-7-7 80 Points
12. Florida Panthers 33-34-11-3 80 Points
13. New York Islanders 30-38-8-6 74 Points
14. Tampa Bay Lightning 29-41-3-8 69 Points
15. Atlanta Thrashers 24-40-15-2 65 Points

Western Conference

1. Detroit Red Wings 48-21-10-2 108 Points
2. San Jose Sharks 43-22-12-4 102 Points
3. Minnesota Wild 41-28-10-2 94 Points
4. Anaheim Ducks 38-27-14-1 91 Points
5. Dallas Stars 39-30-8-4 90 Points
6. Calgary Flames 38-30-6-7 89 Points
7. Nashville Predators 38-32-8-4 88 Points
8. Colorado Avalanche 37-31-9-4 87 Points

9. Chicago Blackhawks 35-33-9-4 83 Points
10. Vancouver Canucks 33-32-15-1 82 Points
11. Phoenix Coyotes 33-37-10-1 77 Points
12. Columbus Blue Jackets 31-34-11-4 77 Points
13. Edmonton Oilers 26-35-19-2 73 Points
14. St. Louis Blues 28-36-8-8 72 Points
15. Los Angeles Kings 27-42-8-4 66 Points

The Western Conference playoff picture doesn’t change much, just Colorado sliding down two places. In the East, New Jersey is the only top 8 team to stay in the same place, but are tied in points with the Flyers. I wanted to see what happened with the old system, which I believe to be more representative of the quality of a team, and I think it shows how the shootout can influence the standings.

Overall, the only 1 current playoff team, the Senators, gets pushed out, so it seems that the shootout, for the most part, doesn’t allow bad teams to appear good, or make good teams appear bad. But I don’t think it works well in distinguishing good teams from other good teams. For example, the Rangers and Devils had 8 and 7 shootout wins, respectively. The Flyers had 3. Without their wins, neither team has a better winning percentage than the Flyers. So does being able to win a breakaway competition really mean the Rangers and Devils are better? The Rangers and Devils both won the season series with the Flyers, so that might answer the question, but in a general sense I can’t believe that makes a team better.

Imagine if the Oilers had sneaked into the playoffs. If I was a Predators fan, I would have been pissed, knowing the only reason they made it was through shootout wins and not actually scoring goals. So this just shows how one extra shootout point can affect an entire season for one or more teams. I would much rather have ties still, but I doubt the league will change back any time soon.


15 Responses to Shootout Points Change Playoff Scenarios

  1. Kramer says:

    Ah yes, the shootout.  This is the biggest marketing scam since probiotic yogurt.

  2. A-Train24 says:

    Essentially, your new point system would be the exact same as before, only every team loses 1 point per shootout win, correct?  Regulation wins and losses stay the same, overtime wins and loses stay the same, but shootout wins (which were two points) become a tie (1 point).

    Then I do not know where you got your numbers from, because they are flawed.

    Ottawa for example, has won only 3 shootouts, and would then only lose 3 points in the standings.  They currently have 94 (43-31-8) and would now have 91 (40-31-8-3) not 87 points as you say.

    Montreal is another example, they would loose 5 points for their 5 shootout wins and become (41-25-10-5) for 97 points, not 98.

    For a complete list of what teams wone how many shootouts, see http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/app?component=reportBuilder.%24NHLDirectLink_1&page=Home&service=direct

  3. HABSSTAR says:

    Better yet.  No matter how you decide the game: 2 points to the winner 0 to the loser.  Doesn't matter, overtime, shootout, role of the dice, pistols at 10 paces.  I don't care….2 for winning 0 for losing.  

  4. leafy says:

    Something's wrong when crappy teams get close to 80 points.

    I've never been a fan of the shootout nor the extra point from day 1.  What's wrong with a friggin tie?  This is not baseball or basketball.

    Let's go back to 2-points games.  And no more stupid shootouts.

  5. caliplayr21 says:

    WE may not like the shootouts, but it's better for the teams to have the chance at winning.  The 3 pt games keep teams in the hunt much longer than usual.  It wouldn't be this exciting if only 9 teams can make the playoffs come Feb 4th.  The fact that only 2 teams were eliminated coming into the last two weeks of march in the East makes it for better hockey, more viewers, teams won't tank, etc.

    To make the shootout more rare, however, I would suggest a ten minute 4-on-4 and then a shootout. There would be more OT wins, and shootouts would be more exciting when they do come around.

  6. flamingsenator says:

    man that commercial is stupid….it just plays on the gullability of people

    "wow….pre AND pro-biotic"

  7. habsrock99 says:

    Exactly when did you become a fan of hockey? Because before the Shootout, teams got TWO Points for an OT Win and ONE Point for an OT Loss or Tie. Their has never been a time where a team was rewarded 2 Points for an OTL.

  8. habskovalev27 says:

    agree

  9. holeinone says:

    Only a flyers fans would sit around and come up with this rubbish. It is about the same as before. Not many changes at all. Let the system alone and get a life

  10. leafy says:

    My understanding is that regular low-priced yogurt is probiotic by nature (consisting of healthy bacterial cultures), so when people pay 3 times more for so-called "probiotic" yogurt, they are really buying the same friggin yogurt for a much higher price.  So Kramer may actually have a point here.

  11. habstruefan says:

    I didn't know there was smart people on this site.

    I guess i'm not a genius after all.

  12. wheresthesoda says:

    I don't think you can look at it like that because teams will push harder for the ot win knowing that there is not shootout. I would prefer 4 minutes of 4 on 4 then 3 minutes 3 on 3.

  13. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    See, I know the shoot-out is different, but you still need skill to be succesful with it.

    I mean, so many stars suck at it, but several role players are excelling at it.

    Many good teams do badly at shootouts, while mediocre teams can excel at it.

    If they can take advantage of it, they deserve the wins.

    I'm more upset over the loser point…I think you should get 2 points for a win(any win), and 0 points for a loss.

  14. Canadian1967 says:

    I have taken it a bit further. I believe that you should only get a win for a win in regulation or overtime. I also feel that you should be rewarded for tying during regulation.

    To force the teams to play for the win I think it should be 3 points for a win in regulation or overtime, 1 point for an OTL or shootout loss, and 2 points for a shootout win. A shootout win is NOT  A WIN!

    The standings should look like this.  

                                GP     W      L     OTL  SOW   SOL    PTS      GF      GA
    1  Montreal                 82     42    25      4        5        6      146       267   228
    2  Pittsburgh             82     40     27      4       7        4      142        254   220
    3  Carolina                 82      41    33      3        2        3      133       254   252
    4  New Jersey           82     38     29      3        8        4      137       214   201
    5  Rangers                 82     34     27      4        8        9      131       221   208  
    6  Ottawa                   82     40    31       3       3        5       134      264    252
    7  Philadelphia          82     39    29       5       3        6       134       251   239
    8  Washington          82     39     33      3       2        3       133       244   234
    9  Boston                   82     35     29       5       6        7       129      218    229
    10 Buffalo                 82      35    31       3       4        9       125
    11 Florida                  82      33     31      3       5        6       118
    12 Toronto                 82      33    35      7       3         4       116
    13 Islanders             82      30     38      6      5         3        109
    14 Atlanta                 82      25     40      2       9        3       101
    15 Tampa Bay          82      29     42       8      2        1       100  

                                        
                                        GP     W      L     OTL  SOW   SOL    PTS      GF      GA
    1  Detroit                  82     49      21      2        5       5       164       262    189
    2  San Jose               82     43      23      4        6       6       151       228    199
    3  Minnesota             82    41       28     2        3       8        139      228    226
    4  Anaheim               82&nbs
    p;    39      27     1         8       7       141       213    198
    5  Dallas                    82     40      30      4        5       3       137        247    210
    6  Calgary                 82      39      30     7        3       3        133       232    230
    7  Colorado               82      37      31     4        7       3        132      238     222
    8  Nashville               82     38      32     4        3       5        129       233     234
    9  Chicago                 82      35      34    4        5       4         123
    10 Vancouver          82      33      33     1       6       9         121
    11 Phoenix                82     33      37     1       5       6         116
    12 Edmonton           82      26       35     2     15      4         114
    13 Columbus            82      31       36     4      3       8         111
    14 St. Louis              82       30       36    8       3       5         109
    15 Los Angeles       82        27     43     4       5       3           98      
      
    In the East:
    You will notice that Carolina actually tied for the 4th most wins in regulation and overtime in the NHL and would have won the Southeast in my standings because they won more GAMES than Washington who would have had the same points as Carolina.
    Boston would have been the team to drop out. 

    In the West:
    Calgary and Colorado would have swapped around.
    Edmonton would have tumbled way down as they had the second lowest win total to Atlanta's 25.

    Los Angeles would also have finished last in the league ahead of Tampa Bay and had more ping pong balls than Tampa Bay.

    WHY?

    Because teams would be forced to go for the 3 point win. Winning is what the game is all about after all.
    Keep the shootout, but make it attractive to go for the win!

    What about the traditions?

    A win is a win, a loss is a loss and anything else is a tie.

    Meaning, compared with the days before the shootout see the example below.

    GP   W    L   OTL   SOW   SOL   PTS    equals      GP   W    L    T    PTS
    82   49   21   2        5       5     164                   82   49   21  12   110

    The above is Detroits totals for this year.
    So even though they got a "new NHL record" of 164 pts you can convert it to match the old days and see that they are nowhere near a record setting team.

    Worked out traditionally on the right it looks very good; but not great.

    I just think 3 points for a REAL win would force teams to go for the win before the shootout. 

  15. Canadian1967 says:

    This is what would happen if it was your way 

    One "good" team attacking the whole overtime and one "bad" team lining up on the blue line trying to get it to a shootout.
    That is NOT hockey.

    "good" or "bad" is up to each persons perception of course.

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