Points in hockey can refer to a player statistic or a team statistic. Points for a player refers to the total number of goals and assists the player has recorded. Points as a team statistic are used to rank teams in the standings and can be earned via wins and overtime/shootout losses.
Points As A Player Statistic
A point in hockey is earned by a player any time they score a goal or earn an assist. The point system in hockey is quite simple with a goal and an assist both being worth one point.
Points in hockey are often used as a way to determine the quality of a hockey player.
For example, when looking at teams statistics the easiest way to tell which players are the best is by looking at their point totals.
This is not a perfect measurement of a players ability but it is fair to say the players with the most points are usually the best players on the team.
Point statistics can also be used to measure a players quality throughout his career. This is often done by looking at how many points a player earned versus how many games they played. If a player scored more points than games played it is safe to say they had an incredible career.
It is worth noting that the position you play can have a large effect on the number of points a player will earn. Defensemen especially those that play a more conservative game are going to produce noticeably fewer points than forwards.
Fans should take the position of the player into account when reading into statistics such as points.
Points As A Team Statistic
Points as a team statistic are used in order to rank teams in the standings. When a team wins a game whether it be in regulation, shootout or overtime they will earn two points.
If a team loses a game in either shootout or overtime they will be awarded one point. As the season progresses teams point totals will be added up and used to rank them in the standings.
The amount of points a team earns in the regular season is going to determine whether or not they make the playoffs.
A team’s point total is also going to determine a team’s seeding in the playoffs. The team with the higher seeding is going to be the one that has home ice for the majority of the series.
Seeding can play a large role in a teams playoff outcome mainly due to the fact that game seven is a home game for the higher seed.
If teams are tied in points the NHL uses tiebreakers in order to determine which team is in front of the other.
Previously the NHL’s point system was different as it did not include overtime or shootout losses. Instead, the only outcomes of a game were a win, a tie, or a loss. A win would earn a team two points while a tie would earn them one.
Over the years the NHL changed its rules regarding tie games. Instead of calling it a draw at the end of regulation or overtime, they decided to continue on to a shootout.
The inclusion of the shootout meant that every game had a guaranteed winner. This inclusion of the shootout came with the one point earned when a team lost in overtime or shootout.