Is It Time For The NHL To Award 3 Points For Wins In Regulation Time?

It’s Time To Make Every Hockey Game Worth 3 Points – 

I think it’s time for the NHL to start seriously looking at instituting a scoring system that awards three points for a regulation-time win and making every NHL game played worth three total points.  

Let’s just do a quick recap of how the 3-point system would work.  In the 3-point system, teams would receive three points for a win in regulation time (60 minutes), two points for an overtime or shootout win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss.  In the current point system, teams get two points for a win whether it’s in regulation, overtime or a shootout and one point for an overtime or shootout loss.  So, basically, some games award two points and some award three points.  If you can be in as many games that award three points as possible, you will have a better chance at making the playoffs.

I believe the NHL is now the only professional league to use this point allocation system.  The NHL will say they do it this way to keep the standings tight and to make the playoff races more exciting but in reality, the 3-point system might allow for much more movement in the standings and actually keep teams in playoff hunt longer.  As it stands right now teams can only hope to get two points in a game.  With the 3-point system, teams could go on a great run trying to win as many games in regulation as possible to make a playoff push.  You may even see teams pulling their goaltender in tied games in the last few games of the season in order to try for the three points rather than settle for one or two.

Another reason the NHL will argue for the current point system is for historical reasons and to compare point totals with teams from the past.  That ship sailed the day they added 3-point games AND after expansion the schedule expanding from 50 to 74 games, then to 78 games, then to 80 games and finally 82 games they play now.  Tell me how you can historically compare team records with the fluctuating number of games played over the years.

Any league that awards two points in some games and three points in other games just makes no sense and really isn’t fair.  I can’t get my head around the current system.   Now that we are coming out of another lockout, maybe it’s time to shake things up a little again like they did after the last lockout.  

The NHL introduced the shootout, zero tolerance for calling obstruction penalties, and removed the center ice red line for 2-line passes.  The NHL should implement the 3-point win in concert with realignment and step into a new era.  

The NHL now has labor peace guaranteed for seven to nine years and can create a new history.  Once again, this is just my opinion and you can agree or disagree but there are some NHL executives that wouldn’t mind seeing this change but they are still in the minority.  Would you like to see the 3-point system for all games or do you like it the way it is now?

Proposed format:

The standings will now be in a 3 – 2 – 1 – 0 format.

Win in regulation time (60 minutes): 3 points

Win in overtime or shootout: 2 points

Overtime or shootout loss: 1 point

Regulation loss: 0 points


First tiebreaker:  Regulation wins

Second tiebreaker:  ROW (regulation plus overtime wins) that is currently used as the first tiebreaker.

Mitch Kasprick

Winnipeg Hockey Talk 
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  1. YES or NO to 3 points for a regulation time win?

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