What Is A Real .500 Record In The NHL?

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Is .500 Really .500 In Today’s NHL? —

Certain things in sports have a way of grinding on me until I reach the point where I have to vent about it.  Luckily, I have the forum to do this so here it is.   My latest is the way announcers, media, fans and even my friends loosely throw out and use the term .500.

They will use the term .500 in a context such as “Team A is 5 games over .500”  when the record is 22 – 17 – 8 or “Team B has reached the .500 mark”  when the record is 20 – 20 – 7 .  Neither of those examples are a .500 record but this has become common place in the new NHL and it is extremely misleading and incorrect.  In the example of 22 – 17 – 8,  Team A has played 47 games and the record is 22 wins and they have lost 25 games so they are not at .500.  In the second example, Team B has actually lost 27 games out of 47.  Nothing to write home about.  The OTL (overtime loss) and SOL (shootout loss) skew the standings and fool the fans by presenting an unreal presentation of where their favorite team really stands.

.500

The misunderstood .500 mark

Back in the old days when Don Cherry was only 60 years old, a .500 record was as simple as games played and points being equal.  Simple enough.  An example of a .500 record after an 82 game season nowadays would be something like 41 – 30 – 11.  The team has 41 wins and 41 losses but gets the 11 extra loser points for a total of 93 points.

Generally speaking in the past, a .500 record or 82 points (82 points in 82 games) would probably get your team a playoff berth.  But, today the new .500 of around 93 points (41 – 31 – 10) is the norm and that is generally needed (give or take) to make the playoffs.  It looks like an impressive 11 games over .500 but in reality your team won as many as it lost and you’re probably in the middle of the pack in the standings.

Just a heads up.  Don’t be fooled and lulled into a false sense of security.

There, I feel better now.  🙄

The Extreme .500’s

Now of course, there is the potential for an extremely bad and an extremely good .500 record.  These examples are mathematically possible but not very probable.

Lowest .500 record:

41 – 40 – 1 = 83 points

Highest .500 record:

41 – 1 – 40 = 122 points

These examples are factoring in the extreme low in points to the extreme high in points and neither are very probable in today’s game but need to be mentioned for accuracy’s sake. 

Just some food for thought.


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