NHL standings: Where would we stand with a revised points system?

Patrick Roy's Avs have kept out of the shootout this season, and the results have been excellent. - Doug Pensinger

What would the NHL standings look like if we revised the points system? Find out here.

The NHL is worrying about the impact of shootouts on the standings. The league has talked seriously about extending overtime and even moving to 3-on-3 OT, but the NHL doesn't want ties, so the shootout is never fully going away.

One way to minimize the impact of the shootout on the NHL's standings is to change the way that points are allotted. The first thing that has to be done is to eliminate the illogical oddity that is some games accounting for two points, and some for three. The easiest way to do this is to have a win count for three points, a shootout win for two, and a shootout loss for one.

This means teams no longer get a point for an overtime loss either, which should push teams to go harder after the three-point win during overtime instead of sitting back and defending.

So what would the standings look like if the points were awarded in this way? Let's check it out:

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division GP Wins SO Wins SO Losses Losses Points
Boston Bruins 21 13 1 1 6 42
Tampa Bay Lightning 21 11 3 0 7 39
Toronto Maple Leafs 21 11 2 1 7 38
Montreal Canadiens 22 10 1 2 9 34
Detroit Red Wings 22 9 0 4 9 31
Ottawa Senators 22 8 0 3 11 27
Florida Panthers 22 4 2 4 12 19
Buffalo Sabres 23 2 3 1 17 13

The only real change in the standings here is that Montreal hops over Detroit, and the teams outside of a playoff spot all get worse.

Metropolitan Division GP Wins SO Wins SO Losses Losses Points
Pittsburgh Penguins 22 13 1 0 8 41
Washington Capitals 22 7 5 1 9 32
New York Rangers 21 10 0 0 11 30
Carolina Hurricanes 21 7 1 3 10 26
Philadelphia Flyers 20 8 0 1 11 25
New Jersey Devils 21 8 0 4 9 24
Columbus Blue Jackets 22 7 1 1 13 24
New York Islanders 22 5 3 2 12 23

Philadelphia rockets up the standings from last to fifth, and New Jersey tumbles from a secure playoff spot to six points out, and two points out of the wild card spot. Mostly though, the Metropolitan division is as bad as it's name.

Western Conference

Central Division GP Wins SO Wins SO Losses Losses Points
Colorado Avalanche 20 15 0 0 5 45
Minnesota Wild 23 12 2 3 6 43
St. Louis Blues 20 12 2 1 5 42
Chicago Blackhawks 22 11 3 2 6 42
Nashville Predators 21 10 0 1 10 31
Dallas Stars 20 8 3 0 9 30
Winnipeg Jets 23 5 5 1 12 26

Chicago tumbles from first in the division to the wild card section, and Colorado is back where it's been for most of the season. Doing all its damage in regulation has paid off big time in this scenario.

Pacific Division GP Wins SO Wins SO Losses Losses Points
Anaheim Ducks 24 14 1 2 7 46
San Jose Sharks 21 12 1 4 4 42
Los Angeles Kings 22 11 4 1 6 42
Phoenix Coyotes 21 10 4 2 5 40
Vancouver Canucks 23 10 1 3 9 35
Calgary Flames 22 6 1 1 14 21
Edmonton Oilers 23 5 1 1 16 18

The Pacific is almost exactly what a lot of folks predicted it would look like coming into the season, with the three Californian teams on top, a buffer of Phoenix, and the three Western Canadian teams on the bottom. Vancouver's struggles are probably the most surprising thing here.

Does this point system show which teams have been truly better this season? We don't really know at this point. Surely if this were the way the standings were calculated, certain teams would play differently with the game on the line, but it's interesting to look at things from this perspective nonetheless.

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