John Garrett: The Loser Point
I am a proponent of the three-point game. Every game should count for three points. If you win in regulation you get three points. If you win in overtime or the shootout you get two and the loser in overtime or the shootout gets the loser point.
The Vancouver Canucks finally have a loser point. My partner John Shorthouse likes to call it a bonus point. It is a bonus given to a team who has played sixty minutes and earned a tie. If you lose in overtime or in the shootout you deserve to at least get one point. The winning team earns, in the overtime or shootout, a bonus point. The game shows up in the win column. There is a separate column for overtime/shootout losses and now the Canucks have one. The Dallas Stars have eleven.
The radio play-by-play voice of the Canucks when John Shorthouse is not available is Rick Ball. He is an advocate of winners and losers. He recognizes the entertainment value of the overtime and the shootout, but like baseball, basketball and football, if you lose you lose. Who cares if it takes 15 innings or extra time, you get zero points. A loser is a loser and a winner gets full value for his victory.
There is value to both these scenarios. The NHL likes the fact that with the loser/bonus points it is hard to separate yourself from the pack.
Approaching the halfway point in the season in the Eastern conference there is only ten points between the fifth place team and the fourteenth place team. In the West there is only eleven between fifth and fourteenth. It is better to have a competitive playoff run in April, but it is hard to make up points and to catch anybody.
Colorado has a cushion now where all they have to do is be a five hundred team and they would end up with 93 points. That would have put them in the playoffs last year.
I am a proponent of the three-point game. Every game should count for three points. If you win in regulation you get three points. If you win in overtime or the shootout you get two and the loser in overtime or the shootout you get the loser point. I think this would lead to teams trying harder to end it in sixty minutes instead of nursing games into overtime to get at least one point.
Good teams would be rewarded for playing a good sixty minute game and most importantly every game would be worth the same.
Last year the Canucks had 10 loser points and won the division. The Flames had 6 loser points and finished second. Who were the biggest losers?