Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/05/13 at 08:34 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s a statistical curiosity that – if it continues – is going to have a real impact on the final standings of a shortened 48-game NHL season.
Of the first 127 games played this season through Monday, 30 went to overtime and 18 were decided by shootouts.
That’s roughly in line with the historical average. But what’s different is how the vast majority of the “loser” points – 21 as compared to nine – were “earned” by teams playing in Western Conference.
The NHL changed a lot of things about the business of hockey in the last round of collective bargaining negotiations, but the bizarre practice of awarding three points for some games and two points for others was never broached.
It meant that in the first 17 days of the season, there were 12 additional points awarded in the Western Conference, which is going to make it even harder for the early bottom feeders to make up ground as the season moves along. After all, there is no interconference play this year – and the divide between West and East is particularly acute when it comes to shootouts.
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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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