Reform NHL point system

Brad Gicopoulos

Just because you have won a division in the NHL does not mean you’re a top team. The NHL needs to figure out a new point system where the best teams are atop the standings.

The Western conference and Eastern conference both have three divisions that make up their conference. Eight teams make the playoffs from each conference. As it stands now, the top three spots in each conference are reserved for the division winners from that conference.

When a division like the Southeast has teams in it that aren’t elite in the league, they still get a spot atop the conference, even if they have less points than teams four through eight. Currently, the Florida Panthers have 91 points and are third place in the East.

Washington has 88 points and is eighth. The Panthers would be the last team to get a spot in the playoffs if the NHL went by most amounts of points from top to bottom.

This may not seem like a big deal, but the top four teams from each conference get home-ice advantage to start the playoffs and that can be huge for teams if they go to seven games.

I think the league should approve a new point system to reward teams for winning games, not for winning a joke division. The fact that they still have not clinched a playoff spot with five days left in the regular season and actually still have a chance to miss the playoffs should be a red flag that things have to change.

The same thing is true in the Western conference with the L.A. Kings. The Kings are leading the Pacific division with 91 points. If the standings went by the most amounts of points, they would be tied for seventh with only two points to spare on the ninth place Dallas who are not even in the playoffs.

I believe that this standings system does not really benefit teams for winning in regulation. For the teams in first and second, they are there because they have earned it and would be atop the conference either way.

Good teams are on the outside looking in to the playoffs as the best time of the year is about to start.

The point system needs to change so that teams with a regulation win receive three points. An overtime win should be worth two points and a shootout win worth one point. Any loss needs to receive zero points. This will make teams push that much harder to win the game in regulation.

Teams are now standing behind their net at the end of the season just to get the extra point you are awarded now for reaching overtime. This will weed out the bad teams that get tons of points from winning the individual competition in the shootout.