Fans need to get used to loving the OTL point

Matt Lemear Avatar

Yea yea, we know, teams do not deserve a reward for losing. You have all said it over and over and over again since the NHL introduced the awarding of a point to each team for going to overtime. Guess what, the NHL does not care that you don’t like it, nor are they going to change it; and they should never change it, I’ll tell you why.

Let’s just take a look at the Boston Bruins this season. The Bruins currently sit tied for 1st place in the Eastern Conference with 82 points. The Bruins have 14, yes 14, overtime losses this season. Without those 14 points, the Bruins would have 68 points and currently be out of the playoff picture. The Panthers, the team tied with Boston, would be down to 4th place without their overtime points. The Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks? The Canucks would drop from 1st place to 6th place.

Over the last nine seasons, the Bruins have accrued the most wins and most points league-wide. The Bruins are a good team, the Canucks are a good team, hell I’ll even admit that the Panthers are a good team. These teams deserve to be where they are, and deserve to be high ranked playoff teams. Going back to the Bruins, can any of you honestly sit there and say “that team does not belong in the playoffs!”? No, you cannot, and if you are sitting there saying “well, yes I can” then you are a liar. For example, I DESPISE the Panthers, but they deserve to be where they are and are a great team and might be for years to come.

The NHL does not get a lot of things right, however, rewarding both teams with a point for making it to overtime is one that they did. Should they trial/study awarding an additional point (3) for a regulation victory? Perhaps, but stop and think about the reverse of that for just a second; you get an additional point for winning in regulation, logic would say that you should not then lose a point for forcing OT and not losing in regulation.

For those of you stuck in the 80s and 90s and who like to say “the game just isn’t what it used to be,” I say….. Yea, no kidding it isn’t. The game is faster, the players are freakishly athletic compared to most athletes from past generation, and the game is analyzed and scrutinized at a level a thousand times more than it ever was. So, sit back, enjoy the game you love, cheer on your team, and stop complaining about when your team gets an extra point.

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