Ever since the NHL instituted the “loser point” for teams, getting to but, not winning in the sudden death period there’s been lots of talk about removing the point.

Is the loser point directly responsible for a team making or missing the playoffs, getting the 1st or 2nd seed, or finishing somewhere in the middle? Absolutely!

I examined the Eastern Conference standings from each year since 2001-2002and the findings are quite interesting.

Look at the raw numbers below, the loser point is, in fact, directly responsible for teams making and missing the post season. The best example is from just last season. The Florida Panthers made the playoffs (Southeast division champions) for the first time since 2000 but if it hadn’t been for the loser point they would have finished 9th in the East.

 

 

2001-2002 Actual Standings

2001-2002 East Standing w/loser point taken out.

Team    Pts

1. Toronto 96

2. Philadelphia 94

3. Carolina 86

4. Boston 92

5. NY Islanders 92

6. New Jersey 91

7. Ottawa 87

8. Montreal 84

9. Washington 83

 

2002-2003 Actual Standings

2002-2003 East Standings w/out loser point.

Team     Pts

1. Ottawa 112

2. Philadelphia 103

3. Tampa Bay 88

4. New Jersey 102

5. Toronto 95

6. Washington 86

7. Boston 83

8. New York Islanders 81

9. New York Rangers 74

 

2003-2004 Actual Standings

2003-2004 No Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Tampa Bay 100

2. Toronto 100

3. New Jersey 98

4. Boston 97

5. Ottawa 96

6. Philadelphia 95

7. Montreal 89

8. New York Islanders 87

9. Buffalo 81

 

2005-2006 Actual Standings

2005-2006 East Standing No Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Ottawa 104

2. Carolina 104

3. New Jersey 92

4. Buffalo 104

5. Philadelphia 90

6. New York Rangers 88

7. Tampa Bay 86

8. Montreal 84

9. Toronto 82

10. Atlanta 82

*Ottawa, Carolina, and Buffalo all had identical win/loss records of 52-30

 

2006-2007 Actual Standings

East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Buffalo 106

2. New Jersey 98

3. Tampa Bay 88

4. Ottawa 96

5. Pittsburgh 94

6. Atlanta 86

7. New York Rangers 84

8. Montreal 84

9. New York Islanders 80

10. Toronto 80

 

2007-2008 Actual Standings

2007-2008 East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Montreal 104

2. Pittsburgh 94

3. Washington 86

4. New Jersey 92

5. Ottawa 86

6. Carolina 86

7. New York Rangers 84

8. Philadelphia 84

9. Boston 82

10. Buffalo 78

 

2008-2009 Actual Standings

2008-2009 East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Boston 106

2. New Jersey 102

3. Washington 100

4. Pittsburgh 90

5. Carolina 90

6. Philadelphia 88

7. New York Rangers 86

8. Montreal 82

9. Florida 82

10. Buffalo 82

 

2009-2010 Actual Standings

2009-2010 East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Washington 108

2. New Jersey 96

3. Buffalo 90

4. Pittsburgh 94

5. Ottawa 88

6. Philadelphia 82

7. Boston 78

8. Montreal 78

9. New York Rangers 76

 

2010-2011 Actual Standings

2010-2011 East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. Pittsburgh 98

2. Washington 96

3. Boston 92

4. Philadelphia 94

5. Tampa Bay 92

6. Montreal 88

7. New York Rangers 88

8. Buffalo 86

9. Carolina 80

 

2011-2012 Actual Standings

2011-2012 East Standings w/out Loser Point

Team     Pts

1. New York Rangers 102

2. Boston 98

3. Washington 84

4. Pittsburgh 102

5. New Jersey 96

6. Philadelphia 94

7. Ottawa 82

8. Buffalo 78

9. Florida 76

10. Tampa Bay 76

11. Winnipeg 74

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