It’s always pleasant when the scribes align at the two Boston dailies, and today is one of those instances. The point of agreement? The NHL system of awarding two points to the winner of an overtime game and one to the loser.
The loser point.
The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont and the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris crosscheck the league’s overtime policy as a leading cause of the stunning amount of mediocre hockey currently on display in NHL games. Under the headline “NHL’s ‘loser point’ never a winning idea,” Dupont writes:
Its existence routinely makes the game action worse, detracts from the entertainment factor, part of a much broader struggle in a sport where the E-factor has taken humongous hits in recent years with the near-eradication of fighting and the lack of goal scoring.
The problem is, coaches coach to the loser point, something not seen in any other sport. And for good reason. It’s awful.
Harris doesn’t like the loser point any better. But he notes the possibility of adopting the European soccer and hockey approach.
• In games decided in regulation, the winner receives three points, the loser gets zero.
• A team that wins in overtime of any sort — sudden-death or shootout — earns two points.
• The team that loses in extra time gets one point.
Just imagine the value of wins in regulation — and the motivation that would provide for players to give their all, and not simply hang on until OT.
Maybe . . . depending on the standings, yeah?
But Dupont’s not buying it: “One common remedy offered to prevent such third-period “failure to engage” would be to award 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, 1 for an OT loss. Count me out, if only on the basis of muddling through the already confusing standings.”
How about this: Two points for an overtime win, no points for an overtime loss. You know – old school. Just a thought.