Hitchcock admits ‘loser point’ undercuts entertainment

Posted: 19/01/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

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Include St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock in with the list that believes the NHL would have a better product without the “loser point.”

Hitchcock admits that in the final stages of tight games, the mindset shifts from pursuing the full freight, to ensuring his team secures at least one point to avoid losing ground.

“I like when you are playing all out, all the way,” Hitchcock told Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe. “But I’ve got to tell you as a coach, if there’s five minutes left in the game, and it’s tied, I’m not necessarily thinking about winning it. I want at least a point.

“A lot of coaches think like that. We have to think like that. Because to get zero points in a tie game with 10 minutes left is devastating.”

This counterproductive feedback loop is arguably killing the NHL. The more overtimes and shootouts, the tighter teams remain bunched in the standings. Meanwhile, because nearly every team is in contention, they must continue to err on the side of caution, as more often than not coming away with nothing will result in a slip in the standings.

Many believe there’s an easy fix to this conundrum. If regulation wins become valued at three points, suddenly the payoff obscures the consequence. For this reason, teams would be much more willing to attack.

The Blues included.

“If you can put more value in (a regulation win), I am all for it,” Hitchcock said. “But to me, right now when there’s 10 minutes left in a hockey game I want that one point, at least.

“I’ve got to have it. That’s how you get in the playoffs.”

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