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New York Islanders New Tiebreaker Rules for 2019-20 NHL Season

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference during the NHL All Star Week at the McEnery Convention Center on January 25, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference during the NHL All Star Week at the McEnery Convention Center on January 25, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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There will be a slight change to the way tiebreakers work for the 2019-20 season. If the New York Islanders are tied with a team, regulation wins will now be worth more.

The NHL has instituted new tie-breaker rules for the 2019-20 NHL season. They have now put more emphasis on regulation wins rather than ROW. So in the event that the New York Islanders end up in a tied situation based on points remember that rules are a bit different.

The priority for a tiebreaker now belongs to regulation wins, and not to regulation and overtime wins (ROW). ROW as a tiebreaker now falls to second in the pecking order.

Makes Sense

The new tiebreaker rules are as follows:

  1. Most regulation wins
  2. Higher ROW (regulation and overtime wins)
  3. Largest number of total wins (regulation, overtime, and shootout)
  4. Most points earned in head-to-head games*
  5. Largest goal differential
  6. Most goals scored (including overtime and shootout)

*If an uneven number of games have been played the first extra home game will not be included. So if the Islanders are tied with the Devils from tiebreaker one through three and have played five times, three on the Island and two in New Jersey, the first game on the Island won’t be counted.

It makes sense for the NHL to give priority to regulation wins instead of regulation and overtime wins. It creates an incentive to get the game resolved in regulation rather than prolong the game for another five-plus minutes with overtime and a possible shootout.

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This new tiebreaker wouldn’t have helped much last season. The Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues were the only teams to end the season tied. Winnipeg who finished ahead of the Blues thanks to a superior ROW (45 to 42) also held the regulation win advantage with 38 to the Blues 36.

But now you know about the new tiebreaker rules for 2019-20 and can impress all of your friends.

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