The NHL is inching closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and discussion on the NHL’s two-point system is on the table again.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman made a strong statement in support of making the change, making an argument against those who believe it would create too much separation from top teams.
The conversation around the NHL adopting a three-point system, which is what the International Ice Hockey Federation uses, has been a long-running discussion point.
A three-point system awards three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime or shootout win, one for losing in the extra frame, and zero for a regulation loss.
The league currently uses a two-point system. Two points are awarded for a win regardless of whether it’s regulation or in overtime, and one point is awarded for extra-time losses.
A change to a three-point system would provide more opportunities for teams to close point gaps after falling behind, argued Bowman. Awarding three points for a win “would give teams a hope that you could get hot,” Bowman told Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bowman points to raising the reward for outright winning games as a way teams who seemingly fall out of contention can bounce back, via the Chicago Sun-Times:
“They always talk about how it’s going to separate the teams, but you can make up ground quicker. If you win seven games in a row in regulation, that’s a lot better than seven games in a row in overtime,” Bowman said.
The argument against this is a team snowballing a point lead by winning in regulation, which benefactors of the three-point system point to as a good reason to be rewarded.
Point systems will always be a conversation point while leagues strive for parity to keep competition healthy. A jumbled Eastern Conference may be proof of the current system working, however.
The NHL had the three-point system on the table when they re-worked their collective bargaining agreement in 2004 but elected to put it on hold.
Should the NHL adjust their point system, leave it as it is, or do something entirely different going forward? Let us know in the comments!