Over the past few days, we have been running a bracket style contest to determine the worst rule in the NHL. Just three days ago, the Instigator Rule put a whooping on slashing the stick, and thus gets the honor of facing the Loser Point for the rights to move into the next round.
Here are the Rules:
That seems to be the consensus from those who dislike this rule, that if it were called properly, and consistently, it wouldn't be as bad as it is. But this isn't a contest among calls that might be made, it is a contest among calls the way they are called.
Loser Point: Brought in as a compromise with the NHLPA, the one point for making it to overtime was the way the NHL got their 4-on-4 overtime session. Later, the shootout would be added to game, eliminating all ties from the NHL.
The implementation of a loser point, coupled with no ties, makes for interesting happenings in the standings. The league is now the only "major" sport in which one game can be worth more than others. When a game is won in regulation, it is worth two points. When a game goes into overtime, the loser gets a point, and the winner gets two, making it worth three points. Imagine if, in Major League Baseball, a game was worth a game and a half in the standings if it went to extra innings.
Many leagues throughout the world have made each game worth three points. You get all three for a regulation win, two for an overtime win, and one for an overtime loss. All games are now worth the same amount of points, and there is incentive to win the game in regulation. The NHL? Not so much.
The end result of the loser point is what you have in the Western Conference, with there being little separation between the 4th and 12th positions. This keeps teams "in the playoff hunt" for longer periods of time, and supposedly keeps the fan bases excited. What I see it doing is annoying the hell out of the fans, and the NHL not really giving a damn.
Your turn, Wilderness. Make your case in the comments, and cast your vote.