Musings

The Logical NHL Standings

By now you know I like to do this at certain points throughout the year. It’s no secret I think the NHL standings system is stupid, and actually a conspiracy to give most every team at least the appearance of competitiveness. Almost everyone can be over or near .500, when in reality they’re nowhere close. The loser-point is a crime. So let’s see what’s really going on. There are two ways I like to do it. One is to relegate both overtime wins and losses to mere ties, and this way we can see who is winning games in regulation. The second is to go with a 3-2-1-0 system, where any game won in overtime or shootout is two points, and one lost in that fashion is one point.

So first, the standings as they are:

Atlantic Division GP W L OL PTS
Tampa Bay Lightning 66 50 12 4 104
Boston Bruins 65 39 17 9 87
Toronto Maple Leafs 65 40 21 4 84
Montreal Canadiens 66 35 24 7 77
Buffalo Sabres 65 30 27 8 68
Florida Panthers 65 28 26 11 67
Detroit Red Wings 65 23 33 9 55
Ottawa Senators 66 23 38 5 51
Metropolitan Division GP W L OL PTS
Washington Capitals 66 38 21 7 83
New York Islanders 65 37 21 7 81
Carolina Hurricanes 65 36 23 6 78
Pittsburgh Penguins 65 34 22 9 77
Columbus Blue Jackets 65 36 26 3 75
Philadelphia Flyers 66 32 26 8 72
New York Rangers 65 27 27 11 65
New Jersey Devils 66 25 33 8 58
Central Division GP W L OL PTS
Winnipeg Jets 65 39 22 4 82
Nashville Predators 68 38 25 5 81
St. Louis Blues 65 34 25 6 74
Dallas Stars 65 33 27 5 71
Minnesota Wild 66 32 27 7 71
Colorado Avalanche 66 28 26 12 68
Chicago Blackhawks 66 27 30 9 63
Pacific Division GP W L OL PTS
Calgary Flames 65 41 17 7 89
San Jose Sharks 66 39 19 8 86
Vegas Golden Knights 67 36 26 5 77
Arizona Coyotes 65 32 28 5 69
Edmonton Oilers 65 28 30 7 63
Vancouver Canucks 66 27 30 9 63
Anaheim Ducks 66 25 32 9 59
Los Angeles Kings 65 24 33 8 56

Now, the one with only ties and no OT results:

Atlantic Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Tampa Bay Lightning 66 50 44 12 6 4 98
Boston Bruins 65 39 32 17 7 9 80
Toronto Maple Leafs 65 40 34 21 6 4 78
Montreal Canadiens 66 35 31 24 4 7 73
Buffalo Sabres 65 30 23 27 7 8 61
Florida Panthers 65 28 21 26 7 11 60
Detroit Red Wings 65 23 16 33 7 9 48
Ottawa Senators 66 23 18 38 5 5 46
Metropolitan Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Washington Capitals 66 38 33 21 5 7 78
New York Islanders 65 37 32 21 5 7 76
Carolina Hurricanes 65 36 32 23 4 6 74
Pittsburgh Penguins 65 34 30 22 4 9 73
Columbus Blue Jackets 65 36 28 26 8 3 67
Philadelphia Flyers 66 32 27 26 5 8 67
New York Rangers 65 27 26 27 1 11 64
New Jersey Devils 66 25 22 33 3 8 55
Central Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Winnipeg Jets 65 39 33 22 6 4 76
Nashville Predators 68 38 33 25 5 5 76
St. Louis Blues 65 34 29 25 5 6 69
Minnesota Wild 66 32 29 27 3 7 68
Colorado Avalanche 66 28 27 26 1 12 67
Dallas Stars 65 33 27 27 6 5 65
Chicago Blackhawks 66 27 19 30 8 9 55
Pacific Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Calgary Flames 65 41 36 17 5 7 84
San Jose Sharks 66 39 33 19 6 8 80
Vegas Golden Knights 67 36 32 26 4 5 73
Arizona Coyotes 65 32 27 28 5 5 64
Vancouver Canucks 66 27 22 30 5 9 58
Edmonton Oilers 65 28 22 30 6 7 57
Anaheim Ducks 66 25 21 32 4 9 55
Los Angeles Kings 65 24 19 33 5 8 51

As you can see, not that much changes, but there are some. One, the Jackets would be completely adrift in the Metro, and really the playoffs altogether. The Hurricanes would be in with a real shout of winning the Metro as well. The Lightning wouldn’t have a prayer of catching the ’77 Canadiens. Dallas would fall behind the Wild and Avalanche, and the Hawks would be hopelessly marooned to the bottom of the Central, with their 19 regulation wins being third-worst in the league. Arizona would barely be hanging on in the playoff race.

Now with the 3-2-1-0 system:

Atlantic Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Tampa Bay Lightning 66 50 44 12 6 4 148
Boston Bruins 65 39 32 17 7 9 119
Toronto Maple Leafs 65 40 34 21 6 4 118
Montreal Canadiens 66 35 31 24 4 7 108
Buffalo Sabres 65 30 23 27 7 8 91
Florida Panthers 65 28 21 26 7 11 88
Detroit Red Wings 65 23 16 33 7 9 71
Ottawa Senators 66 23 18 38 5 5 69
Metropolitan Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Washington Capitals 66 38 33 21 5 7 116
New York Islanders 65 37 32 21 5 7 113
Carolina Hurricanes 65 36 32 23 4 6 110
Pittsburgh Penguins 65 34 30 22 4 9 107
Columbus Blue Jackets 65 36 28 26 8 3 103
Philadelphia Flyers 66 32 27 26 5 8 99
New York Rangers 65 27 26 27 1 11 91
New Jersey Devils 66 25 22 33 3 8 80
Central Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Winnipeg Jets 65 39 33 22 6 4 115
Nashville Predators 68 38 33 25 5 5 114
St. Louis Blues 65 34 29 25 5 6 103
Minnesota Wild 66 32 29 27 3 7 100
Colorado Avalanche 66 28 27 26 1 12 95
Dallas Stars 65 33 27 27 6 5 98
Chicago Blackhawks 66 27 19 30 8 9 82
Pacific Division GP W REG W L OTW OL PTS
Calgary Flames 65 41 36 17 5 7 125
San Jose Sharks 66 39 33 19 6 8 119
Vegas Golden Knights 67 36 32 26 4 5 109
Arizona Coyotes 65 32 27 28 5 5 96
Vancouver Canucks 66 27 22 30 5 9 85
Edmonton Oilers 65 28 22 30 6 7 85
Anaheim Ducks 66 25 21 32 4 9 80
Los Angeles Kings 65 24 19 33 5 8 75

Differences here: No one is within 23 points of the Lightning. The Wings and Senators have a firm grasp on the top two spots in the lottery. Again, Carolina has a real shot at a division crown. The Coyotes have a real shout at a playoff spot.

The changes aren’t that big, but there are some that teams and fanbases would notice.

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