I came, I saw, I conquered--- the NHL points system problem raised by the alternation of 2 and 3 point games.
There can be no debate among reasonable people that the current system is both unfair and badly skewed. It rewards teams for playing dull hockey and dragging things out to OT. So, what I would like to propose is not a switch to a 3-point system, but a switch BACK to the 2-point system.
Allow me to explain. Under the current system, after 60 minutes, a 'tie' is recorded (1 pt to each side) and then the winner gets an additional point. This has had the unhappy effect of encouraging teams to play for overtime because then everyone gets a point; worse yet, encouraging shoot-outs because it's no real incentive not to. But what if it worked as follows:
2 points for a win in regulation or OT
1 point plus tiebreaker credit for shootout
1 point for shootout loss
0 points for loss in regulation or OT.
The tiebreaker credit would be just that; for teams tied in the standings, the number of shootout wins would become tiebreaker number one, but that would be the ONLY benefit to teams winning in the shootout. They would otherwise count as though ties in the standings. So, you do away with ties (which I've never minded, but the NHL seems to abhor) but you don't mess up the value of a win by devaluing it through so-called skills competitions.
As an example: Ottawa's record, currently (as of March 11, 2014 at 2pm EDT) 28W, 25L, 12 OTL for 68 points would be, in the new system 25 W, 31L, 3SW, 6SL for a more reasonable 59 points---which I think fairly reflects the season the team has had, which has been just sub-500, not a 'winning season'.
Compiling the rest of the Atlantic:
Boston: 40W, 22L, 2SW, 1SL = 83 PTS
Toronto: 26W, 27L, 9SW, 4SL = 65 PTS
Montreal: 30W, 28L, 5SW, 3SL= 68 PTS
Tampa: 28W, 26L, 6SW, 5SL= 67 PTS
Detroit: 25W, 27L, 4SW, 8SL= 62 PTS
Ottawa: 25W, 31L, 3SW, 6SL= 59 PTS
Florida: 17W, 35L, 7SW, 5SL=46 PTS
Buffalo: 13W, 41L, 6SW, 4SL=36 PTS