Monday, November 16, 2009

The real standings

I'm on record as not liking the concept behind giving free points to losing teams in hockey games.

In our own low little league it's not so bad, we get sorted into divisions and everyone, no matter how downtrodden, gets to play a playoff game against a similar team. In the NHL, where making or missing the playoffs could lead to extra millions for a team, none of whom are currently in the best financial shape? Yeah, could be a problem.

Psychologically, I also don't like the concept of a game being decided by a glorified skills competition, especially one where only one skill is on display.

Finally, the whole rationale behind it was to eliminate the allegedly-pernicious tie, to prevent stuff like this. That's a LOT of ties, right? Looks a lot better than, say, today's standings... right?

Yeah... not so much. So I put myself to a little research project over the weekend: if there were no "pity point" and games ended after overtime, what would the standings be like? That table is below.

It's simple, if a little time-consuming. Shootout wins are taken out of the win column and moved to the tie column, and overtime losses are taken out of the tie column and moved to the loss column. No other adjustments are needed. The table has the current standings on the left, the adjustments in the middle, and the Old School Adjusted Standings on the right.

Carolina, 1-14-4...  Woof.  That's Epic Suq.
It really should be a table, not a picture - you have to click to embiggen - but the major hunk of the work is done. I hope to be able to run this every Monday, hopefully in a more legible format.

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