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Golden Rangers LogoAs of February 17, 2008 in the National Hockey League (NHL) 25 of the 30 teams are showing a winning record. My team, the New York Rangers, are 29-24-7 – which seems pretty good, until one realizes that this record represents them winning less than half of their games (the 7 stands for overtime loss). Statistically there is no reason why half the teams should have winning records and half losing records, but you would expect the distribution to be roughly that. For comparison, last baseball season saw 16 out of 30 with winning records ; last football season saw 17 of 32 teams with winning or .500 records; and this NBA season has exactly 15 out of 30 with winning records.

I’d be curious if moving to their new overtime rules and record keeping standards if attendance at the lesser-performing teams’ arenas has increased. And if it has, I suspect it would only be a short term bump before fans realize that having a winning record by no means puts their team near playoff contention. Who are the “debtors” that would seem to have an interest in such a system? Is it the traditionally weak teams? And who are the “creditor” that are hurt by such a system? If it is the strong teams, it would be hard to square with the likely fact that the big market (and usually better) teams have the greatest influence on league policy. Unless of course the big market teams are also the weaker teams.

Which brings my back to the Rangers …

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