Hockey: Standings without 'Bettman points'

The joke in baseball is you're not a fan if you haven't invented your own way for scoring a game. In hockey, it might be that you're not a fan if you don't have an alternative way of displaying the standings, or a better idea for rewarding teams for a regulation win.

Big-time hockey blogs such as Behind The Net and From The Rink have been on about the anti-competitive nature of the shootout and the practice of giving one point to teams for an extra-time loss; it's known as the charity point, Bettman point or even the loser point.

Another bugaboo is how the way standings are traditionally presented muddles the picture. For instance, on a points-per-game basis (similar to the "games behind" you know and love from baseball and the NBA) the Montreal Canadiens are 11th in the NHL's Eastern Conference, instead of seventh. Andrew Bucholtz's beloveds, the Vancouver Canucks, move up to fourth in the West from fifth, when you go on the former basis.

FTR had a post last week about charity-free standings, where each team would get two points for winning in regulation and overtime, one for a shootout victory and nothing for losing. It's pipe-dreamy, but it has some application to CIS hockey. The competitiveness of the league and the compact 28-game regular season means shootout results can have some sway over where teams end up in February. For grins, here's the revised standings if each team was stripped of the extra point from a shootout win or extra-time loss:
  1. UNB 46
  2. Acadia 27 (-3)
  3. Saint Mary's 24 (-4)
  4. UPEI 20 (-2)
  5. St. FX 20 (-4)
  6. Dalhousie 16 (-3)
  7. Moncton 16 (-1)
  8. St. Thomas 13 (-3)
OUA East
  1. McGill 36
  2. UQTR 34 (-4)
  3. Queen's 26 (-3)
  4. Carleton 25 (-4)
  5. Toronto 25 (-4)
  6. Nipissing 20 (-1)
  7. Ryerson 17 (-4)
  8. Concordia 12 (-4)
  9. Ottawa 9 (-4)
  10. RMC 8 (-6)
OUA West
  1. Western 36
  2. Lakehead 34 (-2)
  3. Waterloo 33 (-2)
  4. Laurier 28 (-4)
  5. Guelph 21 (-5)
  6. Windsor 20 (-2)
  7. York 19 (-5)
  8. Brock 17 (-2)
  9. UOIT 16 (-3)
Canada West
  1. Alberta 38 (-1)
  2. Manitoba 25 (-3)
  3. Saskatchewan 23 (-4)
  4. Calgary 17 (-8)
  5. Lethbridge 17 (-4)
  6. Regina 14 (-3)
  7. UBC 12 (-3)
A couple observations ... please add your own:
  • There would be quite a race for the last Canada West playoff spot with charity-free standings. Calgary's eight-point swing is the largest in the country.

  • AUS has 10-minute overtime in the regular season. It's no coincidence only two games have gone to shootouts there this season and that almost everyone's position is unchanged, save for the fact UPEI and St. Francis Xavier would be tied for fourth.

  • Hopefully, this is a good appendix to the Hollywood Top 34.

  • Going 3-0 in shootouts has kept Ottawa (3-16-1 in other games) afloat. The Gee-Gees goalies have stopped 13-of-14 attempts. Simren Sandhu is also 2-for-2.

  • McGill is the only team in the country which hasn't gone to OT in regular-season play, but coach Jim Webster's Redmen had a non-conference game vs. Dartmouth which ended in a tie.

  • As for the other two teams with no "Bettman points," UNB has four overtime wins in AUS play. Only one extra session lasted beyond 90 seconds. Western has only been to OT once.

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  1. I'm partial to the 3-2-1-0 system used in soccer.

    3 points for regulation victory
    2 points for overtime/shootout victory
    1 point for overtime/shootout loss
    0 point for regulation loss

  2. The 3-2-1-0 system is obvious to everyone except the powers that be in the various hockey leagues. Sometimes their need to keep a death grip on outdated traditions borders on the ridiculous.

  3. I don't understand why there isn't simply win and loss. Why be rewarded for losing? Seriously. Someone please explain that to me. I've never understood that. You win. You lose. End of story.

  4. I too like the 3-2-1-0 point system the best. It is used in IIHF events so it's not a big stretch to adopt it here.

    However, I won't be changing rankings because of it. Teams play to the rules and the current rules are for a 2-1-0 format.

  5. To Anonymous:

    The reason they give points is because a shootout loss is not a real loss, which is why it is not used in playoff games. I can see validity in not giving points for OTLs. They never used to in the days before shootouts.

  6. A loss is a loss is a loss. Whether it's in extra innings, overtime or a shootout. You lost. Period. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone could or would argue against this.

  7. Not all losses are equal . . . A team gets thumped 9-1. Is that the same as losing 1-0 in a shootout after eight shoot-out rounds? A 3-2-1-0 system makes a lot of sense. It would just take getting used to, that's all.

  8. I say bring back the tie during regular season play if there isn't a winner after the overtime period. Problem solved.