Once a Gimmick, Shootout a Serious Matter

Reed Saxon/AP

Here’s a statistical curiosity that – if it continues – is going to have a real impact on the final standings of a shortened 48-game NHL season.

Of the first 127 games played this season through Monday, 30 went to overtime and 18 were decided by shootouts.

That’s roughly in line with the historical average. But what’s different is how the vast majority of the “loser” points – 21 as compared to nine – were “earned” by teams playing in Western Conference.

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