The benefit to three-point regulation wins

Overtime wins are particularly thrilling. Would a switch to three points for a win in regulation mean we'd see fewer games reach OT? John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s a standard part of the NHL’s point system debate. Any time someone writes about how the NHL should make regulation wins worth three points -- to make this world a fair and just place -- the next step is to recalculate the current standings under that system. It helps gives an idea of what the NHL would look like under that system; it’s a good journalistic practice.

We ran those adjusted standings recently after colleague Pierre LeBrun expressed his desire to see the league reconsider the idea of giving an extra point for a regulation win (three), as opposed to two for an overtime or shootout win.

Shortly after that story ran, a hockey fan much smarter than myself asked whether coaches would approach regulation any differently with the possibility of a three-point game. It hadn’t even occurred to me; I just figured guys are trying to win now, even if the third period of some tied games suggest otherwise.

So I posed the question to a few head coaches, and, interestingly, the response was split.