How Would Things Be Different If A Regulation Win Was 3 Points?

Time for some fun with numbers.

Here’s how the conference looks right now.

W L OTL SOL PTS OT/SO W
OKC 43 20 4 5 95 7
TOR 42 23 4 3 91 11
CHI 39 26 3 3 84 4
ABB 38 26 3 5 84 11
PEO 39 30 2 2 82 8
SA 38 28 3 2 81 9
LE 35 28 3 7 80 11
CHAR 35 26 3 6 79 6
HOU 32 24 5 10 79 6
MIL 36 28 2 4 78 7
ROCH 32 26 9 4 77 10
ROCK 34 30 2 6 76 9
GR 32 29 6 4 74 7
HAM 32 32 2 5 71 6
TEX 30 38 2 2 64 10

– Only 7 of the 15 teams have walked out of their arenas as winners more often than they have walked out as a loser of some kind so far this season.  Milwaukee is one of them.  Houston, Rochester, Texas, Grand Rapids, and Hamilton will all finish this season with more losses than wins.  Lake Erie and Rockford need to win out to break even.  A few of those teams have legitimate shots at making the playoffs despite that.

– A third of Texas’ wins have come in extra time.

– Just a hair under a third of all Rochester games went into extra time this season, and a hair under 43% of their total points have come from those games.  On the other end, the Chicago Wolves are the team least likely to have unfinished business after 60 minutes, only heading to overtime in 14% of their games.

How would the playoff picture look if three points were awarded for a regulation win, two points awarded for an OT or shootout win, and one point awarded for an OT or shootout loss?

1 OKC 137
2 TOR 122
3 CHI 119
4 PEO 113
5 ABB 111
6 SA 110
7 CHAR 108
8 MIL 107
9 HOU 105
10 LE 104
11 ROCK 101
12 ROCH 99
13 GR 99
14 HAM 97
15 TEX 84

A bit of separation there.  137 points is astounding. Instead of eight teams within 6 points of each other jockeying for four playoff spots, you’ve got a smaller group fighting to get in.  And then a secondary group fighting for the home-ice advantage in the first round.  Plus, teams like Rochester, Houston, and Lake Erie would be a little lower for not being able to seal the deal in regulation.  Coffee is for closers.

Which system do you think would be better for hockey (ignoring the fact that one scenario currently would have the Ads holding a playoff spot)?  The status quo or three point games?  Do you enjoy that almost every team is playing meaningful hockey games in April right now?  Would it horrify you if a team like Rochester eeked into the playoffs after being so dependent on OT in the regular season?

4 thoughts on “How Would Things Be Different If A Regulation Win Was 3 Points?”

  1. Some pro soccer leagues and World Cup went to 3 points for a win to eliminate ties. I like the idea.

    What horrifies me about Rochester, is that they and the Admirals may be fighting for the #8 playoff spot without ever playing each other during the 76 game regular season!

  2. 3pt system for sure, look at the nhl, so many teams are being rewarded with a playoff birth for losing in ot/so- LA, san jose and phoenix to name a few and a team like dallas has more wins but doesn’t get in, make no sense to reward losing. One point or no points a loss in regualtion or ot/so is still a loss so it took a little longer to lose the game not really justified to be given something for losing.

  3. Ryan,
    I am one of the biggest supports of the 3-point rule for victories. To me it provides much more separation between a good team and bad team. If that rule is not used, then I would prefer if teams did not get points if/when they lose in overtime or in shootout.
    However, both the NHL/AHL prefer the current three point system for games because it ensures incredibly tight playoff races throughout the season. More teams involved in the push for the playoffs, therefore buildings are more full late in the season. Also, I don’t think there is a NHL General Manager who would agree to have the shootout in place unless it resulted in some sort of consolation if you lost. Therefore, I just don’t this being changed anytime soon.

    As far as the argument that Milwaukee would make the playoffs under the 3-points for a win system, while not in the current system, while other teams would be out in the 3-point for a win system that are in the playoffs now is mostly hog wash. Simply put teams like Houston and Rochester, plus Milwaukee would likely play and game plan differently under the other system. In the current system many teams play for at least a point, or try to hang on for a point, then let the fates decide in overtime and the shootout. Under the 3-point for win system, I believe teams would put much emphasis on winning games in regulation rather than “hanging on.”

  4. I always thought awarding points for a loss is kind of hair-brained to begin with. In no other sport worth mentioning do they award the loser for going into extended play.

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