As an avid hockey fan, you know that the NHL standings determine which teams make it to the playoffs and ultimately have a chance at winning the Stanley Cup. However, you might not be familiar with one critical factor in these standings: ROW.
If you’ve ever glanced at the NHL’s website or caught a sports segment on TV, you might have seen “ROW” mentioned alongside wins, losses, and ties. But what does it actually mean? And more importantly, how does it impact your team’s playoff chances?
In this article, we’ll break down the significance of ROW in the NHL standings and explain why it can sometimes give certain teams an edge. Whether you’re a casual viewer or a dedicated hardcore fan, understanding ROW will add another layer of excitement and knowledge to your appreciation of the game.
“The difference between winning and losing is often razor-thin in hockey, and knowing your team’s ROW could be the tiebreaker that makes all the difference come playoff time.” -Anonymous
So if you want to stay ahead of the curve on all things NHL, read on. We promise to keep things simple, straightforward, and relevant to fans of all levels. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your newfound knowledge of ROW – and maybe even feel more confident in your own team’s postseason prospects.
The Definition of ROW in NHL Standings
ROW, or regulation plus overtime wins, is a statistic used in the National Hockey League (NHL) to break ties in the standings. It was introduced during the 2010-11 season as a way to place greater emphasis on winning games outright instead of relying on shootouts and overtime victories to inflate a team’s point total.
In essence, ROW counts the number of games a team has won either in regulation time or during the five-minute, sudden-death overtime period that follows if the game is tied after three periods.
Understanding ROW in NHL Standings
When two or more teams are tied in points at the end of the regular season, the NHL uses several tiebreakers to determine which team earns the higher seed and which team gets home-ice advantage in any ensuing playoff series. The first tiebreaker is total wins, followed by ROW.
If both teams have the same number of wins and ROWs, the next tiebreaker is head-to-head record, and then goal differential, goals scored, road wins, and finally shootout wins.
This system means that having a high number of ROWs can be critical for playoff seeding and home-ice advantage. And with only about one-third of NHL games being decided by a single goal, having a strong overall win-loss record may not be enough to secure a favorable position.
Why ROW Matters in NHL?
ROW is important in the NHL because it encourages teams to play aggressively and try to win outright in regulation time or overtime, rather than playing conservatively and hoping to squeak out a victory in a shootout. Shootouts involve individual skills competitions between players, rather than true team-based action, so they are seen by some fans and analysts as an unsatisfying way to decide games.
ROW also helps determine playoff seeding and home-ice advantage, which can be significant factors in determining the outcome of a series. Teams that have performed well during overtime or regulation are often seen as being more battle-tested and resilient than teams that rely heavily on shootouts to pick up extra points.
“I think every coach would like to win it in regulation, but if you can do it in overtime, the ROW obviously comes into effect right now and is important.” -Todd McLellan
The importance of ROW can even extend beyond the regular season for some teams, depending on their position in the standings. For example, the NHL’s wildcard system places emphasis on divisional play, meaning that ROWs earned against other teams in one’s own division can be particularly valuable when fighting for a playoff spot.
While ROW is just one factor among many that go into deciding playoff seedings and matchups, it is an increasingly important one in today’s NHL. Understanding how this statistic works can help fans and analysts make sense of the league’s sometimes-complex standings and better appreciate the nuances of team performance.
Why is ROW Important in NHL?
The National Hockey League (NHL) determines their standing order for playoffs through a variety of factors, including wins, losses, overtime wins and losses. However, one important factor that many fans often overlook is the regulation plus Overtime Wins (ROW). So what exactly is ROW in NHL standings? And why is it so important for determining playoff seedings and wild card spots in the league?
ROW Determines Tiebreakers
In most cases, the number of wins is used as the first tiebreaker when teams have an equal number of points at the end of the season. But if teams still remain tied after considering the number of wins, then the total number of ROW is taken into account to break the deadlock.
It’s worth noting that ROW doesn’t carry more weight than other win types; it serves only as a secondary factor in breaking ties on points earned. In case two or more teams finish with identical numbers of total points in the regular season, each club’s row gets added up frequently which helps the NHL to decide the seedings and matchups for the games in the Playoffs.
ROW Indicates Team Consistency
Regulation + Overtime Wins help us understand how many games teams win within three periods of play. This tells something about team consistency in winning games because out of the different ways a team can acquire points (flat-out wins, OTW via shootout, SOW via shootout), ROW favors the ones with consistent gameplay strategies and also shows that they have favorable scoring chances. By calculating ROW, you’re able to get a better understanding of a particular team’s overall performance throughout the entire 82-game span. It shows the teams that perform consistently over the season.
ROW Impacts Playoff Seeding
Regulation and overtime wins impact the seeding in playoffs because of two reasons.
- First, a team who has more ROWs generally gets a higher seed as compared to another team who finished with equal points but fewer ROW.
- Secondly, if all teams within your specific division or conference have an equal amount of regulation/overtime wins, then it goes to either secondary tie-breaker or other criteria numbers like goal differential, head-to-head record, etc. Though rare, this serves as further motivation for teams looking to improve their standing order by securing additional ROShowever possible wherever they can.
ROW Influences Wild Card Spots
In some cases, wild card spots are determined directly based on who holds more ROW than another team that has the same number of total points. In simple terms, when there is only one spot left for multiple clubs to claim at once in wild cards, ROW remains a crucial element in playoff qualification validity.
“I think having ROW matter in terms of the standings makes sense because you want to good teams being rewarded,… I think winning…a game outright without going into a shootout or over time means something.” – Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette.
The importance of ROW says it all- It’s necessary to ensure a fair shot at home ice advantage throughout the playoffs and also so that we see which teams were consistent over the duration of 82-games span and earned due recognition percentage wise any sort of play-off related discernment.
How is ROW Calculated in NHL Standings?
In the National Hockey League (NHL), there are many statistics used to determine which teams make it into the playoffs, and one of those statistics is called ROW. ROW stands for “Regulation plus Overtime Wins,” and it’s used as a tiebreaker when two or more teams have the same number of points at the end of the regular season.
ROW Calculation Method
The calculation method for ROW is relatively simple. It takes into account all the games that a team has won during regulation time or overtime, but not the ones they’ve won in shootouts. Shootout wins do count towards a team’s overall point total, but they don’t factor into ROW because shootout outcomes aren’t included in the NHL’s official definition of a win.
The purpose of using ROW as a tiebreaker is to ensure that the teams who win the most games outright are rewarded more than the ones who rely on shootouts to get their points. The league wants to encourage exciting gameplay and discourage defensive, conservative strategies that might lead to more ties and fewer decisive victories.
Formula for Determining ROW
To calculate a team’s ROW, you need to subtract their shootout wins from their total wins, like this:
For example, if a team has 40 total wins, but 5 of them were decided by a shootout, their ROW would be calculated as:
- ROW = 40 – 5
- ROW = 35
This means that the team has won 35 out of their 82 games during the regular season either in regulation time, or during overtime.
Example of Calculating ROW
Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario where two teams have the same number of points by the end of the regular season. Team A has 40 wins with 10 shootout victories, while Team B has 38 total wins but only 5 in shootouts:
“Courtesy of our newly-redesigned tiebreaker wizard, we can see here that Team A would win the tiebreaker because they have more Regulation/Overtime Wins than Team B with 30 compared to their 33.” – NHL PR on Twitter
In this case, even though both teams have the same number of overall wins and the same number of points, Team A has won more games outright and therefore deserves a higher ranking spot in the standings. This is why ROW is such an important statistic to consider when determining which team goes into the playoffs and which gets left behind.
If you’re a fan who follows hockey closely, you probably already know how much importance ROW carries due to its critical role in game-deciding situations. However, for new fans just learning about this aspect of the sport, understanding how it works can be beneficial in following the matches better.
ROW vs. Regulation Wins: What’s the Difference?
The NHL standings are a crucial aspect of the league, determining which teams will make the playoffs and compete for the Stanley Cup. Two important metrics used to distinguish teams in the standings are ROW (Regulation plus Overtime Wins) and regulation wins. While these two terms can often be confused, they have significant differences that should be understood by every hockey fan.
Distinguishing ROW and Regulation Wins
Regulation wins are straightforward – any victory earned during 60 minutes of play is considered a regulation win. On the other hand, ROW includes those same regulation victories while also taking into account any additional success in overtime or shootouts. In short, ROW provides an extra layer of measurement to distinguish between equally-matched teams in the standings.
“There’s no fair way to decide tiebreakers,” says NHL analyst Pierre LeBrun. “You just try to find maybe the lesser of all evils.”
The Importance of Regulation Wins
While ROW has its advantages as a tiebreaker, it cannot be overlooked that regulation wins hold more significance throughout the season. When teams finish with equal points at the end of the year, the number of regulation wins becomes the first step in separating them from each other. This emphasizes the importance of timing and executing in 60-minute games without relying on the added time provided by overtime and shootouts.
Legendary coach Scotty Bowman was known to say, “In the playoffs, every game is sudden death.” The focus on regulation wins reflects this mindset even in the regular season.
Why ROW is a Better Tiebreaker
When evaluating team performance over the course of a long season, one metric may not suffice in distinguishing two teams from one another. This is where ROW provides value as a tiebreaker, as it takes into account more nuanced factors that are indicative of performance in close games.
Consider two teams with the same number of total wins and losses but different numbers of overtime or shootout victories. By taking ROW into consideration, we get a clearer representation of which team has performed better – particularly when considering how often these tied teams will face each other in head-to-head matchups down the stretch.
- ROW emphasizes offensive performance since the team that can win in less time has an advantage in this category;
- The statistic also emphasizes defensive success because any victories earned after regulation require tight play to maintain the lead for at least five minutes of additional hockey (or three rounds of shooters).
All of these aspects make ROW a crucial aspect of determining seeding and home-ice advantage come playoff time, even if not necessarily prioritized heavily throughout the season.
In conclusion, NHL standings incorporate both regulation wins and ROW in defining team success and separation between equally matched squads. While the focus on regulation wins speaks to the importance of excelling under pressure during 60-minute games, ROW provides a nuanced picture of success overextended periods of play. Ultimately, understanding the differences and values of these metrics enables fans to appreciate the subtle details of the league and its standings.
How Does ROW Affect Your Favorite Team’s Playoff Chances?
ROW’s Impact on Playoff Picture
In the National Hockey League (NHL), ROW or Regulation plus Overtime Wins is a tie-breaking method used in the standings. ROW counts the number of games that teams win in regulation time and overtime, excluding shootouts. With this system in place, teams may focus on winning by all means to secure higher spots in the playoff picture.
A team’s ROW becomes crucial during the regular season as it determines their position within the divisional or wild card ranking when tied with other teams. In case two or more teams have similar points at the end of the regular season, then the total number of wins accumulated in regulation time will decide their seedings and eventual placement in the playoffs.
“Heading down the stretch, those games – we’re fortunate enough to get to overtime because there’s no question about it — you need every point possible.” – Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper
Team’s Strategy for Improving ROW
The NHL’s adoption of ROW ensures that teams are encouraged to play aggressively throughout the game, even if they can only win during overtime. Teams’ strategies thus change approaching the end of the game, knowing how vital the extra point could be in deciding their postseason fate.
To improve their number of ROW victories, many coaches instruct their players to avoid playing conservatively and safe, but instead provide them with opportunities to score decisive goals before regular time expires. As a result, most franchises tend to put out their top lines more often late in tight contests to maximize their chances of winning in regulation time rather than wait for sudden-death overtime.
“The way the league’s set up, I’m not really sure anybody so-called takes their foot off the gas completely at any time,” – Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Example of How ROW Affects Playoff Chances
A good example that shows how significant ROW can be is by analyzing the 2018-19 NHL standings and playoff picture. In that season’s Western Conference, three teams finished with a total of 99 points: Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks.
Arizona secured the final Wild Card spot due to having accumulated the most wins in regulation/overtime—39, also known as their ROW number—from games played throughout the entire league schedule. The Avalanche placed seventh, while the Blackhawks finished last among the group and outside the playoffs because of having fewer regulation-time victories (34) than both teams they tied in points with.
“It means everything, we know every point’s important. Every game becomes extremely meaningful.” – Coyotes forward Brad Richardson.
When it comes to NHL tiebreakers for placement in the postseason, ROW carries plenty of weight on the overall team performance. By playing aggressively right from puck drop to overtime, teams rack up more points, which places them higher and ultimately closer to the Stanley Cup glory.