rules

Only in the National Hockey League is a win not always a win

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The Pittsburgh Penguins recently completed a perfect month of March with a record of 15 wins with no losses.  The 15 consecutive wins came two short of the NHL record of 17 wins registered by the Penguins in 1993.

A hockey purist was quick to point out that the '93 streak was 17 regulation and overtime wins in a row since there were no shootouts in 1993. The 2013 streak included a shootout win, which would not have counted as a win in 1993.

The rules of all sports change from generation to generation.  Anytime you make a comparison of something that happened years ago to something that happened recently the argument will always be how the comparisons are invalid.

While the record should still count, it does bring up an oddity of the National Hockey League rules regarding wins and losses. Only in hockey is a win not always a win, and a loss can actually gain ground for a team in the standings.

Under the current system the standings are determined by points, not just wins and losses, with two points awarded for a win, and one point awarded for an overtime loss.

The rules that have allowed ties, and now overtime losses, have changed three times since 1999.

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