While the NHL Considers Realignment, Let's Just Fix the Standings

While the NHL Considers Realignment, Let's Just Fix the Standings

The Flyers aren't .500. They're 11-11-1.

Eleven wins and 12 losses do not equal a winning percentage of .500.

This is likely why you'll never find winning percentage calculated in the NHL standings, because unlike in the NFL, MLB and NBA, it doesn't matter. It's also probably why the NHL's game recap didn't mention that the Flyers were ".500" anywhere in its text, as news outlets who cover the league put it in their headlines.

The NHL is sort of like the anti-Who's Line Is It Anyway? — everything is made up and the points are the only thing that matter.

We've actually been going through this same exercise season after season for longer than you may remember. The addition of the overtime loss is sometimes misattributed to the introduction of the shootout following the 2004-05 lockout but actually came into the league during the 1999-2000 season. For five seasons, NHL records were split into four categories: wins, losses, ties, and overtime losses.

The Flyers' persistent difficulties with the shootout aside, the postgame breakaway contest actually isn't the problem. That the NHL has operated under the belief that overtime losses are qualitatively better than regulation losses and therefore deserve a quantitative reward also isn't the problem.

It's that they've never extended that logic to regulation and overtime wins.

An extra point is awarded to a team that forces overtime presumably because that team could not be defeated in regulation. So if merely forcing overtime is an achievement, why isn't winning in regulation worthy of a greater reward than the standard two points?

For 13 seasons, point inflation has corrupted the NHL standings, making some games worth only two points and others worth three. From the league's perspective, that's a positive, as it keep more teams in the playoff hunt for a longer stretch of time.

But it's also devoid of logic. As long as the league is attempting to reshape its travel concerns with realignment, it should also take a look at fixing the standings. This particular suggestion is not new, but making every game worth three points (as in the model below) would alleviate all the concerns above while still rewarding teams who reach the extra five minutes.

Win = 3
OT Win = 2
OT Loss = 1
Loss = 0

Or we could just go back to having ties, even though the league thinks its fans are emotionally incapable of watching a game that doesn't decide a winner.

Some final notes related to winning percentage, it is semi-correct to call the 11-11-1 Flyers a ".500 hockey team," because they have won 50 percent of all the points possible. Consequently, a club could lose every game in an 82-game season, go 0-0-82, and still be .500.

Of course, no one ever makes that distinction. You're as likely to see an 11-11-1 team called .500 as you are to see an 11-11 team called the same. (But what about a team that opens a season 1-0-1, 2-0-2, 3-0-3 and so on?)

The Flyers play the Rangers tomorrow night in New York. If they win, they'll be 12-11-1 at the halfway point of the season.

After that, if they lost every game in overtime for the rest of the year, would they be a .510 hockey club at 12-11-25?

If the league won't fix its standings, the rest of us should at least change the way we look at a team's record.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Ex-Flyer Nick Cousins takes down Islanders

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Ex-Flyer Nick Cousins takes down Islanders

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet praised center Nick Cousins after, not just for his game-winning goal against the New York Islanders but also for his improved overall play.

Cousins scored his second goal of the game 2:21 into overtime to lift the Coyotes to a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Monday night.

"I've got to give him a lot of credit," Tocchet said. "He's done really well. I've sat him out this year. He's worked on his game. He's always got a smile on his face coming to work to practice. He's worked on his game and he's starting to reap the benefits."

Cousins added an assist and the Coyotes ran their points streak to five games, a season high. Arizona has points from seven of eight games, with six of those going to overtime. Brendan Perlini scored for the third time in three games and Antti Raanta stopped 32 shots (see full recap).

Wings blank Devils before welcoming Flyers
NEWARK, N.J. -- Petr Mrazek wants more playing time and Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is probably going to give it to him.

Mrazek had 37 saves in posting his second straight shutout and third of the season as the Red Wings played one of their best games of the season in beating the slumping New Jersey Devils 3-0 on Monday night.

Mrazek has stopped 64 shots in shutting out the Blackhawks and Devils in his last two starts. He now has three shutouts in 14 games with a 5-5-1 record.

"I'm trying to get some confidence every game I play, every save I make," Mrazek said. "I haven't played a lot of minutes, so every game I am trying,” (see full recap).

Avalanche beat Leafs for 10th straight win
TORONTO -- Colorado goalie Jonathan Bernier heard the Bronx cheers from the Air Canada Centre crowd on Monday night.

He remembers listening to Toronto fans giving him the same sort of hard time when he was a member of the Maple Leafs as they struggled through the 2015-16 season.

"It's not as bad when you are the away team," he said.

Bernier made 29 saves in his first start at the ACC since Toronto traded him in July 2016, Blake Comeau scored the go-ahead goal with 7:43 left and the Avalanche extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs (see full recap).

Vasilevskiy leads Lightning past Blackhawks
CHICAGO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy was terrific, Chris Kunitz made a clutch play and Tampa Bay's penalty killers had a big night.

The Lightning followed a familiar formula back to the top of the NHL.

Vasilevskiy made 40 saves in his league-best seventh shutout and Kunitz scored a short-handed goal in the second period, leading Tampa Bay to a 2-0 victory over the sliding Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Yanni Gourde also scored as Tampa Bay stopped a season-high three-game skid and leapfrogged idle Vegas for the best record in the NHL. The Lightning, who lost to Chicago in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, improved to 11-0-2 against the Blackhawks in their last 13 regular-season meetings (see full recap).