1. 4.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Strip It Off – The Colonel

That’s right. Do what you really want to – take it all off…

A bit of a let down, eh? Not a write up that the title would seem to advertise. But it is a great characteristic of the entire ‘Three Point Game’ complaint. Here at On Goal Analysis, we say the argument against it is moot – do it or not, it doesn’t really matter.

Let us illustrate this by stripping away the extra point for an OT/SOL. Those that argue against it should be vindicated by how it MASSIVELY skews the true standings, right?

Wrong. Look at all teams at Game 50, drop the third point and see how they stack up below.

All Stripped Down, How Does She Look?

For the argument that the ‘Third Point’ needs to go away to be pertinent, you really have to show that the goal of getting into the Playoffs each year is skewed by those extra points. To make the argument, you need to know your baseline. From season to season since the Lockout, a ‘normal’ average of 2.5 new teams per Conference enters the Playoffs each season. The range of change is 1 to 4 in each Conference, and there has not been a season without a new team in the Top Eight in either one since the Stoppage. Also, it is ‘normal’ for 7.167 teams to switch positions in that Top Eight, per Conference, and per season. The Range there is 5 to 8 changes, and of six measurable periods, four of them in the Conferences have had either 7 or 8 teams who are either new or in a different, finishing order.

So in the Eastern Conference at Game 50, here is how the standings would look with the actual Game 50 standings under current rules versus no points awarded for an OT/SOL:

That’s right – some change is there. As far as dropping the third point changing which teams are in the Top Eight, the only difference is Boston and Montreal switching between seed #8 and #9. In confirming with the tie breakers minus OT/SOL points, MTL still comes out in front of BOS based on two Canadiens’ wins versus the Bruins so far this season. So out of 2.5 ‘normal’ changes for new teams, we have one in the East. We also have four positional changes in the Top Eight, to include the insertion of MTL into the Number 8 slot.

What will the Western Conference bring as it sits there, still staring us down?

Nope. No complete team changes. None. Sure there are two changes in standings order. But that is more than 3.5 times lower than the average. But bottom line, the same top eight teams are on top in the West no matter whether those annoying ‘third points’ are stripped out of there or not.


So let’s review. The normal, average number of changes in teams that make the Playoffs each year is 7.167 changes in Top Eight seeding and 2.5 new teams entering the Playoffs per Conference. The number of changes at Game 50 for this season are a total of six seeding changes and one new team inserted from BOTH Conferences if you drop the ‘third point’ and award nothing for an OT/SOL.

The ‘Third Point’ argument? Irrelevant, I say.

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