Blog Entry

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

Posted on: November 20, 2009 6:24 pm
I am not, and never have been a fan of the 'shootout' to resolve an NHL game.  I know I am not alone in this dislike of the 'breakaway relay' but the league seems to be pretty adamant about keeping it around.  One of the reasons I dislike the SO is that a team winning in this manner attains the same value of points as a team winning in 60 minutes.  And the team losing in this manner still gains a point.  The league is giving away 3 points on some games and 2 points on others.  So points totals appear bloated, with teams who have lost a lot of close games edging out teams who have won more games.  A greater number of wins should count for a higher standing than a team who loses in overtime a lot, at least in my opinion.

So I have been keeping track of the wins/losses for the last couple seasons using a point system that I feel favours teams who actually win more.  I refer to it as a 3-2-1 point system, as the title implies.  This point system would see a team winning in regular time or over time receiving 3 points for their effort.  A team winning in the shootout would receive 2 points, while the team losing in shootout would receive a single point.  Losses in regulation or overtime would be worth zero points.

Now, a lot of people may argue with me including the 5 minute overtime in the pure win/loss category, but it wasn't that long ago that a loss in overtime was actually a loss and you got zero points.  I personally feel that that is a loss in regular season, just as it would be in play-offs.

So, now how does this affect the teams this season (2009-2010) up to this point, being approximately one quarter of the way through the season?  So first I'll post the current standing, by conference with division leaders at the top.

Eastern Conference
Pos GP Pts Team
 01   21  30   Washington Capitals
 02   20  29   New Jersey Devils
 03   18  25   Buffalo Sabres
 04   22  28   Pittsburgh Penguins
 05   18  25   Philadelphia Flyers
 06   21  23   New York Rangers
 07   19  23   Ottawa Senators
 08   21  23   New York Islanders
 09   19  23   Tampa Bay Lightning
 10   18  22   Atlanta Thrashers
 11   21  22   Boston Bruins
 12   21  20   Montreal Canadiens
 13   19  18   Florida Panthers
 14   21  13   Carolina Hurricanes
 15   20  12   Toronto Maple Leafs

Western Conference
Pos GP Pts Team
 01   23  32   San Jose Sharks
 02   22  29   Colorado Avalanche
 03   20  28   Chicago Blackhawks
 04   23  28   Los Angeles Kings
 05   20  26   Columbus Blue Jackets
 06   20  26   Calgary Flames
 07   22  25   Phoenix Coyotes
 08   21  24   Dallas Stars
 09   20  23   Nashville Predators
 10   19  23   Detroit Red Wings
 11   21  22   Vancouver Canucks
 12   22  21   Edmonton Oilers
 13   19  18   St. Louis Blues
 14   20  17   Anaheim Mighty Ducks
 15   21  16   Minnesota Wild

Now in the 3-2-1 point system, with the same layout as above.  And as you'll see, not a lot of major differences overall.  The teams that it most affects are teams that would be fighting for playoff spots, teams like the New York Islanders and the Dallas Stars.  Each of those teams would be out of their 8th place rankings in the current system because the 3-2-1 system doesn't reward them as heavily for their SO and OT performances.  Each of those teams has a SO win, 4 SO losses and a couple of OT losses, which would add up to a lot of extra points in the current system (9 of 16 possible points for NYI and 8 of 14 possible points for DAL).  But in the 3-2-1 system which favours wins, those games would only account for 6 points for either team (out of a possible 24 for NYI and 21 for DAL).

Eastern Conference
Pos GP Pts Team
 01   20  40   New Jersey Devils
 02   21  38   Washington Capitals
 03   18  34   Buffalo Sabres
 04   22  38   Pittsburgh Penguins
 05   18  35   Philadelphia Flyers
 06   21  32   New York Rangers
 07   19  31   Ottawa Senators
 08   18  31   Atlanta Thrashers
 09   19  28   Tampa Bay Lightning
 10   21  27   New York Islanders
 11   21  27   Boston Bruins
 12   21  26   Montreal Canadiens
 13   19  22   Florida Panthers
 14   21  12   Carolina Hurricanes
 15   20  11   Toronto Maple Leafs

Western Conference
Pos GP Pts Team
 01   23  43   San Jose Sharks
 02   22  40   Colorado Avalanche
 03   20  39   Chicago Blackhawks
 04   23  39   Los Angeles Kings
 05   20  36   Calgary Flames
 06   20  36   Columbus Blue Jackets
 07   22  34   Phoenix Coyotes
 08   20  32   Nashville Predators
 09   19  31   Detroit Red Wings
 10   21  31   Vancouver Canucks
 11   21  30   Dallas Stars
 12   22  28   Edmonton Oilers
 13   19  23   St. Louis Blues
 14   21  22   Minnesota Wild
 15   20  22   Anaheim Mighty Ducks

I'll be re-addressing this at about the half way point in the season as well, and will likely break it up a little differently to show the individual team records for better illustration of the point.


Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2010 4:50 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

Hey birky, I'm not sure if you remember the time when the NHL didn't reward teams for losing in overtime.  All I'm suggesting is that I would like to see that same system return.  This isn't kindergarten, they can't all be winners, and if they can't handle losing (in overtime or otherwise) they should find a different game to play.  If a team plays an excellent defensive game and wants to get some kind of reward for their effort, they can try to continue that defensive game for 5 more minutes.  If they can hold the onslaught off for that extra 5 minutes, they get a point.

Thanks for the reply, hope this clarifies my position.

Since: Jan 9, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2010 11:44 am

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

So if a team that is doing extremely well plays a team that is doing extremely bad and the bad team keeps the game close and takes it to OT and they lose in OT you don't want to give them anything for their efforts? And on the other side a team that should've dominated the game played terrible and you want to give them 3 points instead of the usual 2?

Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2010 11:33 am

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

First, thanks to everyone who I haven't replied to personally.  For chitownfan312, I do have a personal reply.

I think that this 3-2-1 system would increase the teams trying to win in overtime more than the current system.  Knowing that they will automatically lose 1 point just by going to the shootout (most they can win is 2 points in SO compared to 3 in OT) may inspire a bit harder play in the overtime period.  Getting 2 points for the win may be okay for some of the teams, but knowing that you may be losing ground by not trying hard to get that extra point in overtime will not sit well for most teams.  At least, that's the way that I see it, I have been wrong before.

Thanks for the reply chitown, it opens up a good line of thought.

Since: Oct 13, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2010 11:43 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

I'm interested to see how the final season numbers look. A scenario where teams recieve 0 points after regualtion will never happen but I am interested to see how the standings look.

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2010 3:03 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

The problem with all of this is the reason why the current system was put in place is because the NHL wanted every game to have a winner.  Under the old system, teams would just tighten up their play towards the end when there was a tie, and effectively play not to lose. 

Now when they make it to OT, there is no reason to play not to lose because they are already guaranteed the one point, and they have to play to win to get the second point.

In your scenario where OT losses get 0 points, the same thing will happen.  Teams would just sit back and play for the shootout.  In the end, they would most likely play for the guaranteed point first, the play for the second point after.

Personally, I would just prefer for them to go back to the old system where OT ending would result in a tie.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2010 9:49 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

They use this system in international hockey tournaments for the round robin phase, also in soccer.  It makes a lot of sense.

I think the problem is people don't want to try and read a standings sheet that has 4 columns of game outcomes. Your average North American reader just doesn't seem interested in that type of subtlety.

They should just bring back the Tie as a resonable result in a regular season game. I know that ain't gonna happen because people hate ties for some reason. To me the OT loss point is the last remnant of the tie which recognizes the accomplishment of a team that ended regulation time tied.

Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 8:29 am

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

give 2 pts for a regulation win.
give 1 pt for overtime/shootout win.

you lose you get nothing

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: December 23, 2009 3:37 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

I agree that the current point system is flawed.  It doesn't make sense to me that a win in OT/SO is worth more than a win in regulation.  Why are teams rewarded for not being able to win the game "outright"? 

Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2009 2:26 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

Hey there DaveyKeon,

  I think that if the 3-2-1 system is ever introduced into the NHL, it will likely include the 5-minute overtime in the 2-1 section.  But it wasn't that long ago that losing in overtime counted as a zero point loss (no 2 points for the winner/1 point for the loser), and I personally feel that a team that comes out and plays for the win in that extra 5 minutes should be rewarded for their effort.  I also know that a lot of people agree with you on this though, and when the end of the season comes, I will post up the standings as they would appear using my method and using the OT 2-1 split method.

  Again, thanks for the reply.

Since: Oct 6, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2009 1:55 pm

3-2-1 Point System (1st Quarter)

Hey I like the idea for sure, although i dont agree with the setup. If you are rewarding people for wining in regulation, then you should make it so OT win worth 2 and 1 for the loser, sicne you couldnt win in regulation...

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