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Hockey Teams playing for ties


4 legs good 2 legs bad
FiveThirtyEightSports had a great article today showing how more and more teams are playing not to lose in tie games in the 3rd period now instead of playing to win, resulting in record numbers of games going to overtime, just because getting that one guaranteed point for reaching overtime is so valuable.

It's an interesting read for any hockey fan.


I thought this graph was particularly fascinating. It shows the expected goal rate by minute, and it clearly drops off in the final few minutes of tie games.

It kind of ties into what we discussed in this thread a little while ago...


And it really convinces me more than ever that teams should not be rewarded with a point for being tied at the end of regulation, and also that winning in regulation should have more value.


I'm not sure I am getting this.. They are rewarding a winning point to a team for being tied at the end of regulation time? Which team gets the point, Home or Visiting? Sounds screwy to me either way. Just play hockey, good old fashioned hockey. One team wins, and one team loses, and no points given for anything other than a puck in a net.

- Cham


Creeping On You
Yah that's how it works. If the game goes to a tie, then each team gets at least one point, and then it goes to overtime to determine the actual winner.

Personally I'd be happy with winning teams getting 2 points and losers getting none, no matter what. With this tied game 1 point shit, it makes for a smaller point gaps between teams, so lesser teams with lots of ties instead of wins can beat out a team with more wins.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
Today, Nate Silver posted an article with a proposal to get rid of the loser point.


The NHL’s “loser point” is the stupidest rule in sports. For the non-puckheads among you, here’s how it works: The NHL awards one point in the standings to a team that loses a game in overtime or a shootout. But teams get two points for winning a game, whether in regulation or beyond. You don’t need a degree in #fancystats to recognize the problem: There are a total of three points to distribute when a game goes to overtime but just two otherwise. So it really pays off to play for OT. As FiveThirtyEight contributors Noah Davis and Michael Lopez documented Wednesday, this encourages dull, passive hockey. Goal scoring falls dramatically in the third period of tied games, right when a game should be coming to its climax.

This is more than a minor annoyance; the loser point has already changed the identity of at least one NHL champion. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings finished with 40 wins and 42 losses; they made the playoffs ahead of the 42-40 Dallas Stars because they accumulated 15 loser points to the Stars’ five. Then the Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup.
He proposes a few things, including playing until there is a winner, even with 3v3 if need be. Not sure I like that too much. I'm not a big fan of determining games in different ways than the rest of the game is played. To me, shootouts are like having a free throw contest at the end of a basketball game. In no way does it show who the better team is. I'd rather just end the games in ties, honestly. Not sure why people hate ties.

What do our hockey fans think?


I liked the shootout when it first started, it was kind of entertaining. I hate it now. Ties are boring, but I would much rather see games end that way than the way they do now.

I say keep it 5-on-5 and just make the OT another full period. None of this 5 minutes nonsense.


Better Call Saul
Staff member
I absolutely loved the 1 point for getting to OT thing for a while but I think I am over it now. I would get rid of that. I mean unless you wanna say if you win in regulation its 3, you win in OT/ Shootouts its 2, and if you get to OT and lose its 1. I could back that but I'd rather it was just 2 and 0 and that's it.

I still like the shootout but I think maybe OT should be expanded so less games go to one...3 v 3 like has been proposed seems too...ummm...recreational? haha

Not sure the right word but yeah