# Calling OCD hockey fans: it's Tie-Breaker Story Problem #1

This is the first of six scenarios I have been mulling over regarding the potential impending tie-breaker cluster****. I'll put one up every day, or maybe every other day, or maybe all of them today if I get bored.

This is not a quiz, because if there's a right answer, I don't know it. Maybe somebody does, somewhere, but I don't believe the rules as stated on the NHL.com or ESPN site resolve these issues. So in the comments, if you "know" it's one way or the other, or some as yet unmentioned way, I'm mostly interested in what is actually true, not what we're "sure" must be true.

I'm looking for iron-clad logic based on the rules, or some set of other rules I haven't been able to find (yes, I have looked in the CBA and the rule book; I see nothing, but I may have missed a crucial clause somewhere). I'm dying to know what everyone thinks. The hive mind ought to be able to get to the bottom of this.

And if you happen to work for the league, um, don't hesitate to chime in. :)

NHL tiebreaking procedures - NHL - ESPN

TIEBREAKER

In the event teams are tied in the standings, the following tiebreakers are applied to determine which team receives the higher seeding.

1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).

2. The greater number of games won (not including games won in a shootout).

3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.

4. Goal differential.

In the poll, wins = regulation plus OT wins.

(p.s. I'm starting with the most straight-forward of the bunch. They get harder.)

CLARIFICATION: the following is a hypothetical scenario; it in no way reflects the actual season with the actual teams and their actual records. I could have said Team A, Team B, etc... Carry on.

### CHI, DET, LAK and DAL are tied at 4th after 82 games. They are also tied in wins. In the head-to-head tie-breaker, CHI and DET have 30 pts, LAK 28 and DAL 26. To determine the final standings, you:

 assign Los Angeles and Dallas the 6th and 7th spots (respectively), and proceed to the goal-differential tie-breaker to determine, among the remaining tied teams (Detroit and Chicago), who gets the 4th and who gets the 5th spot. 48 assign Los Angeles and Dallas the 6th and 7th spots (respectively) and repeat the head-to-head tie-breaker recalculating for only Detroit and Chicago. 38 since no winner was determined by the "head-to-head" tie-breaker, all four teams proceed to the goal-differential tie-breaker. 20