Those freaking Bettman points are killing me. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that the Kings gave up a goal is frustrating in itself, and I can’t possibly blame Bettman entirely for the fact that the Sharks grabbed a point in a game that should have been all-Kings. That said, those points are making this entire playoff race just a touch more stressful than is really necessary.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of the shootouts. Having a 65 minute display of hockey boiled down to a weak-sauce skills competition is not my idea of a good choice. Huge parts of the game are not considered when deciding in a shootout, and it’s ultimately a very unrealistic way of determining who should win the game. Personally, I prefer the idea of 5 minutes of 4 on 4, followed by 5 minutes of 3 on 3, followed by 5 minutes of 2 on 2, followed by 5 minutes of 1 on 1. Let’s be clear, it would virtually never get that far, but I think it would entertaining and would retain at least some semblance of hockey. But that’s not what this post is about.
Maybe the biggest issue with the Bettman point is that it makes it nearly impossible to put any real distance between yourself and trailing teams in the playoff hunt. It makes it similarly difficult to make any real progress, because virtually every game played there are 3 points awarded. These damn points only make the playoff race tighter than it really should be. If the regular season is designed to determine the best 16 teams in the NHL worthy of entering a postseason tournament, then the goal ought to be to best determine the best teams.
Unfortunately it seems that the teams are being kept artificially close together, and arguments about the failings of the Bettman point fall on deaf ears. If this evidence were presented to the league, they’d laugh and point out that they’re not interested in finding the best teams, they’re interested in keeping as many teams in the hunt for as long as possible. While I understand this perspective from a purely financial point of view, it’s ultimately dissatisfying to the fans across the countr(ies) looking for the best teams to play the best hockey.
I think it’s time to end that damn point. What do you think?