Why is it that some NHL games are worth 2 points and others are worth 3 points? Why does the losing team team get an automatic point for making the game more exciting and going to overtime?
The current NHL point system is one where in a regulation win the winning team gets 2 points and 0 points are awarded to the loser for a total of 2 points. In an overtime or shootout win the winning team still gains 2 points and the losing team gets a consolation point for making it past 60 minutes.
The NHL needs to make a new system where both teams do not benefit from forcing overtime. In the current system there is no penalty to the winning team for allowing the losing team to force overtime. The winning team gets 2 points whether the game ends in 60 minutes, 65 minutes, or 65 minutes and a shootout.
There is only one way to eliminate the automatic benefit for both teams of going to overtime, which is change the point system. The system should work one of three ways. The first way is where the winner is awarded 2 and the loser gets 0 no matter how long the game takes. The second way is to go back to the old style of points where if nothing is settled after 5 minutes of overtime both teams get 1 point each and the game is rules a tie, which is the least exciting, but very fair. Finally, the third way that I believe is the best measure of ability, while keeping the games exciting and fair.
In a regulation win the winning team gets 3 points and the losing team gets 0 points. In an overtime or shootout win the winning team gains 2 points for allowing the losing team to force the extra period and the losing team gains 1 point for forcing an extra period however long it may be. This system allocated 3 total points to each game and gives clear benefits for winning teams to try as hard as they can in the dying minutes of regulation, rather than possibly preparing for overtime.
The only flaw to my new point system lies with the record books. Teams that used to dominate the league and get 120 points will seem worse as the top teams would look at getting over 150 points. To me this is not a factor that should deter the NHL from making the obvious change to make the league more fair.