Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/08/13 at 12:58 PM ET
from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,
Fix the standings and kill the loser point
The NHL standings are broken and everyone knows it. Awarding extra points for overtime games was ridiculous enough in an era when the league wanted to reduce ties, but it's downright nonsensical in a world where the shootout exists. The loser point deadens third periods by encouraging teams to play for overtime, makes the playoff races worse, and adds confusing columns to the standings that new fans are bound to struggle with. And — in what is almost certainly a feature and not a bug — it artificially inflates everyone's records so that all but a few teams can claim to be "over .500" every year.
It's an embarrassment. But here's the crucial problem: The current system is so dumb that every replacement you could come up with would be an improvement. And that actually makes it more difficult to create momentum for change, because it becomes impossible to get a consensus.
So let's start by just stipulating that literally anything would be better than what we have now. Once we've done that, we really can't go wrong. Everyone onboard? Cool.
added 1:20pm, from Katie Baker of Grantland,
So it turns out the NHL has a few things to work on during its summer vacation. But things aren't all bad! Here, in no particular order, are 15 things the NHL should never change.
Over the last few years, the NHL (and its U.S. broadcast partner NBC) has invested time and resources into emulating some of the NFL's successful NFL Films and NFL Network models. (The league's COO, John Collins, came from football.) Results have been up and down — the NHL Network remains frustratingly understaffed, and some of the early efforts to mimic the successful 24/7 lacked the HBO series' punch — but increasingly teams are getting into the mix on an individual level, with good results.
24/7 remains the gold standard of behind-the-scenes hockey programming, but shows like Oil Change and Becoming Wild, as well as the new Flyers production, show hockey players as humans while also underscoring just how difficult and unlikely the life of the professional athlete is.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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