ProHockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon reports that the NHL Board of Governors approved a by-law which eliminates shootout wins from being used as a factor in tie-breakers in figuring playoff placement.
The move is an attempt to increase the importance of winning in regulation or in the first overtime. Earlier this off-season, a debate waged over whether the shootout should continue to exist.
According to ProHockey Talk, here’s how the rule book reads now:
NHL By-Law 27.3 now reads as follows (with the approved revision in underlined italics):
At the conclusion of the regular Schedule of Championship Games the standing of the teams in each Conference shall be determined in accordance with the following priorities in the order listed:
a) First place in each of the three divisions seeded 1, 2 and 3.
b) The higher number of points earned by the Club.
c) The greater number of games won by the Club (excluding games won in the Shootout).
d) The higher number of points earned in games against each other among two or more Clubs having equal standing under priorities (b) and (c).
e) The greater differential between goals scored for and against by clubs having equal standing under priority (d).
The change seems to be more of an attempt to appease the shootout haters, and somewhat of a weak one at that. The question is will we really see teams fight to score against non-conference opponents or, when the game is tied, will they sit back for the guaranteed two points? Fringe teams may play a little harder, but locks for the playoffs will take the one point.
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Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter
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