Thursday, January 16, 2014

Death to the loser point

Let’s cut right to the chase: The loser point is dumb, I hate it, and so should you.

Chances are, you already do. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who actually likes the loser point. Some people can grudgingly live with it. Some actively dislike it. And most seem to hold it in utter contempt and want it out of the league — media, fans, and players alike.

And rightly so, because the loser point was a bad idea and has morphed into something even worse. It’s a source of shame for any decent hockey fan, and it’s tempting to just pretend it doesn’t exist.

But ignoring a problem won’t make it go away, and keeping your feelings all bottled up inside isn’t healthy. So instead, grit your teeth and vent along with me as we present the definitive guide to the NHL’s awful, stupid, very bad loser point.

>> Read the full post on Grantland


  1. Would agree if all games ended with a win or loss in regulation or overtime. Losing in a shootout isn't losing at hockey. It's losing at a skills contest.

  2. we dont even need points anymore without ties, just wins and loses

  3. I can't believe you could write an entire column about this and not give the main reason why there is a point for a loss after regulation -- it's because losses in OT or shootouts are gimmicks, and it's not fair for a team to get no points when it loses in a gimmick. The league wanted more game decided in OT, so it instituted 4-on-4 hockey in OT. When it decided it didn't want any ties at all, it instituted the shootout. But neither one is a truly legitimate way to decide a hockey game, especially the shootout. So the team that lost in a gimmick gets one point. The "loser point" should be eliminated only if there is no OT, or if OT is decided solely according to the regular rules of hockey.

  4. I think the loser point is the best thing they've ever come up with (possibly one of the few good things during Bettman's reign). Only one team is going to actually "win" in any given season, so what they're really trying to sell is entertainment and hope. The way the points system is currently designed, it's been my observation that fans in general feel better about their teams. I see nothing wrong with this. Additionally, for those who really care, it's fairly easy to calculate what .500 actually is, such as in 2011 when it was at 92 points (300 OTL / 30 = 10 extra points per team).

    The flip side of it is, even if it was straight wins/loses and people are happy about their team being over .500, they're still deceiving themselves. As everyone knows, only one team is actually going to win, so most of those teams that are over .500 are actually losers. Given that, why not have more fans be content with the teams they have and let them sit back and enjoy the game on the ice instead of having that enjoyment be overwhelmed by the perception that their team is horrible? (And yes, it could probably be taken to an extreme... don't suggest that to Bettman though)

  5. I think in order to get rid of the loser point you have to get rid of the shootout along with it. Go back to ties after overtime. 3 points for a win, 1 for a tie, zero for a loss in any fashion. Maybe lengthen the OT to 10 minutes and switch sides shooting for a longer change (I think long changes in OT are going to be discussed at the GM meetings anyway). Either way a tie is taking points away from a game instead of adding to them in a 3-1-0 system (making a 3 point game for a win a 2 point game for a tie). Right now going into OT makes a 2 point game a 3 point game.

  6. Regulation win = 2 points
    Overtime win = 1 point (There should be a penalty for going past regulation and that might also keep teams from sandbagging in the third because they no longer get the guaranteed OT point.)
    Loss = 0 points

    There's your new NHL point system.

  7. I agree with killing the loser lose, no points period...I don't care how you lose. I just don't agree with 2 points for any win...shootout should not be worth as much as regulation or OT so make shootout wins worth only 1 point. (Getting rid of shootout altogether would be ideal but unlikely to happen). 3 point systems are always being floated out there but they reward a other sport does it and no way a loser should be rewarded...this is not Timbits hockey! If there's no loser point and shootouts are only worth 1 point, you'll see more teams go for the win in regulation or OT, particularly if they are caught up in a playoff one will want to leave that point on the table. It's a different mindset on how to play from today. Right now, after regulation, a bonus point is up for grabs and one team will be sure to get it...the other is still guaranteed 1 point...bit of a consolation to lessen the blow. But with no guaranteed point for losing and the risk of leaving a point on the table if you don't win in regulation or OT - and you're trying to catch teams in front of you - now you'll see more teams play to win instead of playing not to lose!

  8. Scrap the loser point. Only one point awarded for the shootout win. Problem solved.

  9. As far as checking if overtimes increased every month for three straight years, did that end in February four years ago? Sort of the month hockey wasn't played.