2013-14 NHL Standings With 3 Point System

Sport Betting Canadian Hockey MascotWith the NHL playoffs starting today I thought it was a perfect time to look at what the NHL standings would look like if the NHL used the 3 point system that is basically used around the world and in my opinion makes much more sense than this strange system where some games are considered “more valuable” than others by awarding 3 points instead of 2.  Before I start a rant about all of the reasons the current system is flawed, let’s take a look at the standings if the 3-point system was used.

Atlantic Division

Atlantic Division Points

Reg Wins OT Wins OT Losses Reg Losses Points
Boston Bruins 47 7 9 19 164
Tampa Bay Lightning 32 14 9 27 133
Montreal Canadiens 33 13 8 28 133
Detroit Red Wings 30 9 15 28 123
Ottawa Senators 27 10 14 31 115
Toronto Maple Leafs 24 14 8 36 108
Florida Panthers 21 8 8 45 87
Buffalo Sabres 11 10 10 51 63


As you can see there wouldn’t have been many changes in the Atlantic Division.  The Habs might have got home ice advantage depending on what the tie breaker would have been.  If it was simply regulation win Montreal would have had home ice, while if it was ROW’s like it is now it would have went to the next tiebreaker.

Metropolitan Division

Metropolitan Division Standings

Reg Wins OT Wins OT Losses Reg Losses Points
Pittsburgh Penguins 40 11 7 24 149
New York Rangers 39 6 6 31 135
Philadelphia Flyers 35 7 10 30 129
Columbus Blue Jackets 35 8 7 32 128
Washington Capitals 24 14 14 30 114
New Jersey Devils 26 9 18 29 114
Carolina Hurricanes 30 6 11 35 113
New York Islanders 21 13 11 37 100


This division would have also remained the same for the playoff picture.  The Devils probably would have ended  up above the Caps, but since the Devils automatically get the 30th pick at the draft this year anyways this wouldn’t have mattered very much.  One thing to notice is how much bigger of a gap there would have been between the Blue Jackets and the Caps and Devils.  This is because the Blue Jackets only played in 15 “3 point games” this year while the Caps were lucky enough to play in 28.

Central Division

Central Division 13-14

Reg Wins OT Wins OT Losses Reg Losses Points
Colorado 37 15 8 22 149
St. Louis 40 12 7 23 151
Chicago 39 7 15 21 146
Minnesota 32 11 12 27 130
Dallas 34 6 11 31 125
Nashville 33 5 12 32 121
Winnipeg 24 13 10 35 108


Here is one division where there would have been some changes to the playoff picture.  As you can see the St. Louis Blues would have finished with 151 points; 2 more than the Colorado Avalanche.  But since the Avs played in more overtime games than the Blues this year they get to skip out on playing Chicago in the first round and instead get the Wild.  This will definitely affect the Blues chances of making the playoffs and if I placed a bet on the Blues early in the season I’m not happy with the NHL’s current system of adding a point when the game gets to overtime.

Pacific Division

Pacific Division 13-14

Reg Wins OT Wins OT Losses Reg Losses Points
Anaheim 44 10 8 20 160
San Jose 37 14 9 22 148
Los Angeles 34 12 8 28 134
Phoenix 28 9 15 30 117
Vancouver 25 11 11 35 108
Calgary 21 14 7 40 98
Edmonton 20 9 9 44 87


In the Pacific Division nothing changes either.  The Coyotes are just much further from the playoffs than it looked this year.  They are also below the Predators and would be getting a higher draft pick this year.  The teams are pretty spread out in this division so the system didn’t affect their standings too much.

What Changes

The main change has to be the Blues and Avs swapping spots at the top of the Central Division.  The Blues definitely didn’t want to be playing the Blackhawks in the first round and the same can probably be said from Chicago’s end.  The Avs were able to get a much easier first round matchup thanks to the NHL’s flawed point system.

Instead of going on a full out rant I’m just going to make a few points about why the current system is flawed:

  • It awards 3 points in some games and 2 points in others, which basically implies that certain games are more “valuable” than others.
  • It encourages teams to play extra defensively in the final few minutes of a tied game in order to ensure a point.  This is counter productive to the exciting product that the NHL is trying to put on the ice.
  • It encourages teams to play defensively throughout the entire game.  Think about it.  A team that averages 2 goals for and against per game should have a better chance of going to overtime more often.  The higher scoring the game the less likely a game is to go into overtime and in the current system it is advantageous for both teams in the game for it to go to OT.  This results in a more defensive brand of hockey throughout the league.
  • It makes playoff races less exciting.  GM’s may think that the current system ensure the teams are closer together, but in reality the current system of awarding an extra point in overtime makes the playoff races much less exciting.  If a team could win in regulation and gain 3 points on a team that lost in regulation you could see much bigger shifts in the standings.  Give the fans some credit.  We know that the current system makes it extra hard to catch a team in a race when they can get a point simply by losing in overtime.

Anyways, this has always bothered me and I felt like looking into it today before the playoffs get under way.  Check out the hockey articles section of the site for my first round series picks!

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