I've said it a few times before, but since the league is looking at rule changes this week, it bears repeating. Here's how you fix the tie/Bettman-point issue:
- Get rid of the Bettman point.
- Get rid of the shoot-out.
- Five minute OT, five-on-five, four-on-four, I don't care.
- Two points for a win, whether in regulation or OT.
- No points for a loss, whether in regulation or OT.
- No points for a tie at the end of OT, for either team.
Yes, I know, that makes no sense. How can a TIE be worth the same as a LOSS? I'll tell you. Because the league wants to discourage ties. Because it thinks ties are boring. To me, "ties are boring" is a value judgment, so all I'm doing is taking that idea all the way. If you want to devalue ties, give them no value.
You want to see intense hockey? Imagine two teams tied at the end of a game, knowing that if they don't score, they lose. You think they won't go for it? You think the game won't open up? If you want to get the ties out of the game, the solution is not to arbitrarily throw around extra points at the end of the game. The solution is to make ties painful.
Also, think about all those games at the end of the year, games played by our rivals (say, Anaheim and Calgary), where we watch, dreading the tie in regulation that of course gives points to both teams. Usually I have an over-riding interest in rooting against Anaheim, but there's that awkward moment where the teams are tied in the final minutes and I would rather Anaheim win than give 3 points to two teams the Kings are competing with. It's just needlessly confusing for fans to have their loyalties shift in the middle of a game based on the quirks of the way points are awarded.
But. I will really start paying more attention to conference games played by our rivals if there's the chance that both teams could lose.
And there is no way the arena won't go completely bonkers knowing that if neither team scores everybody loses.
Every time I mention this, the idea gets raked over the coals. I understand why. On some days I might even agree. But you have to admit zero-points-for-a-tie is, at worst, no dumber than "no drop" faceoffs.