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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Three Point Games

So I'm watching the USA-Germany game at the World Junior Championships (The USA lost in OT by the way) and the broadcasters were discussing how the WJC had gone to a format in which a regulation win was worth 3 points, an Overtime or Shootout Win was worth 2 and a OT or SO Loss was worth 1 point. Basically every game is worth three points. If you win in regulation you get all three, but if it goes past regulation you have to split.

I have to say that I really like this format because it still allows the OT and SO formats (which is good) but it also rewards teams for winning in regulation and stops some games from being worth 2 points and others 3 points (combined total) as in the case in today's NHL.

While I was ruminating on this concept, I got to wondering how this type of system might have altered last year's playoff race, so I dumped all the teams into a spreadsheet and made the proper adjustments. Below are the 2005-06 standings under both the old system and the WJC three point system.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
TEAM OLD WJC
OTT 113 161
CAR 112 152
BUF 110 151
PHI 101 135
NJD 101 134
MYR 100 133
MON 93 126
TBL 92 123
TOR 90 121
ATL 90 121
FLA 85 110
NYI 78 102
BOS 74 97
WAS 70 90
PIT 58 75

The three point game system would NOT have altered which teams made the playoffs in the east. Toronto and Atlanta would both end up two points behind Tampa Bay. However it would have made Philadelphia Atlantic Division champions and made them the 3rd seed with home ice advantage in the playoffs instead of New Jersey.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

TEAM OLD WJC
DET 124 175
DAL 112 150
NAS 106 146
CAL 103 145
ANA 98 135
SJS 99 133
COL 95 132
VAN 92 126
EDM 95 123
LAK 89 121
MIN 84 116
PHX 81 109
CBJ 74 95
CHI 65 82
STL 57 71

Out west the alternative system would make a difference in terms of which club made the playoffs. Edmonton would have missed the postseason and Vancouver would have been invited to the dance instead. Dallas which rocked in the extra session last season still would have finished in 2nd place in the west.

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