NHL To Change Tiebreaker Rules For 2010-11 Season

Matthew CalamiaCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2010

Sure it is great to see the best players in the league go one-on-one, but it is a team sport
Sure it is great to see the best players in the league go one-on-one, but it is a team sportMike Stobe/Getty Images

According to the North Jersey Media Group, the NHL will announce a change to the playoff tie-breaking system, eliminating shootout victories for total number of regulation wins.

The new rule, upon approval from NHL General Managers on Sept. 14 at the Board of Governors Meeting, will now eliminate the mentality of teams just trying to get through overtime in order to win in the shootout. Although teams will still get two points for a shootout victory, those victories won't be used in calculating the total number of victories. For example, if a team wins 40 games but four of those come via the shootout, their total number of victories for the playoffs will be counted at 36.

Personally, I think this is a positive step forward for the NHL. Often times teams with several high-percentage shootout players will "play for a tie" in a sense during the overtime because they like their chances in the shootout. The changing of this rule will now force teams to go for the win during the five minute overtime period, rather than the skills competition.

I say this is a positive step for the league, but that's just what it is: A step. There are still several areas in the point system I feel hurt the league and the teams competing in it, such as gaining a point simply for taking a game to overtime.

What other league in professional sports awards you for losing a game? There is no reason a losing team should be able to gain ground in the standings. In my opinion, you should get two points for a win, whether that is regulation, overtime or shootout, and get nothing for a loss.

Andrew Gross, the writer of the blog at the Bergen Record in New Jersey, stated that if the league is going to keep the shootout all together, then teams should get three points for a regulation loss, two for an overtime victory, and nothing for loss. I think that three points for a single victory is a bit much, especially with teams today sometimes getting into the 110+ point plateau.

At the end of the day, hockey purists want to see the shootout be eliminated completely. A hockey game should not be won on a skills competition by a single player. Sure it is exciting to watch, but a team's season should not rest on the stick or glove of a single player. It is a team game, and it should stay that way.