NHL Standings

The National Hockey League uses a system of points to determine its standings. Sports pages and sites then publish the standings based upon point total, which would make sense if teams always had played an even number of games. They don’t. Since points are quantitive, a team that plays more games than another team, and wins the same number of games, ends up “tied” with the team that has won a higher percentage of its games.

This drives a lot of hockey fans nuts.

Why the NHL doesn’t publish standings based upon a “points earned per game” average or “winning percentage” (like everyone else) I don’t know. Since teams earn a point for a loss in overtime, I favor the “points per game” method.


You’ll notice that I haven’t even pointed out that Detroit’s PPG drops them back in the standings. Eastern Conference teams are in yellow.