What is the ROW Stat in Hockey

What is the ROW Stat in Hockey?

Do you know what is one of the most important things in the world? It’s the numbers  everywhere. They are the defining measures. 

Similarly, hockey is also about numbers. The greatest hockey prize is the Stanley Cup, and it is  the numbers and the statistics that determine who will qualify for the Stanley Cup. Therefore, it  is important to learn and understand hockey statistics and how to read these statistics. 

ROW is one of the important hockey statistics that help in determining the team positions in the  playoffs. It helps to understand which team is on the top and can qualify for the Stanley Cup. 

ROW is short for Regulation plus Overtime Wins. To find out the ROW, we subtract the total  number of wins through shootout from the overall total. If two teams tie for a position in the  standings, the ROW stats determine their position. The higher the ROW of a team, the higher its  place in the NHL standings. Therefore, the ROW matters a lot for the teams. 

How Do You Get Points in the NHL Standings?

Getting a top position in the NHL standings is the foremost priority of every team. It is the main  aim of every game. But how do you get the points in the NHL standings? Usually, you either win a game or lose it. There is no third option, but there are different ways of  getting the points. 

The following table shows how the hockey teams get points in the table and the ways they are  determined. 

OutcomePoints
Regulation Win2
Regulation Loss0
Overtime Win2
Overtime Loss1
Shootout Win2
Shootout Loss1

These are the six ways in which a game can end between two hockey teams.

If we look at the table, we find out a team gets a zero-point only if it loses a game in regulation  play. On the other hand, the team will still get one point if it loses the game that has ended in  overtime or a shootout. Wins will always grant two points to the winning team.

How Did ROW Come About?

The table above shows how the NHL awards point to the teams. But how do we find the ROW and where is the ROW stat in all this? As you can see above, there are different ways in which a hockey game ends. The hockey games  go into the shootout periods if the regulation game gets tied between the teams. 

Many traditional hockey experts argue about this. It is because these extra periods are more  about individuals competing than a team. So, the argument is that the shootout wins are more an  individual wins than the team, which does not seem fair. 

The fact is this argument is true to some extent. Therefore, the regulation win or the overtime  win has more importance than the shootout wins in the NHL.  

Hence, to maintain the clarity and the fairness of the hockey games, the NHL devised rules  accordingly and the ROW stat came into being. The ROW is mainly used to decide which team  comes first in case of a tie between the two teams. The NHL gives more value to the regulation  wins and the overtime wins than the shootout wins.

Examples of ROW in the Standings

Let us give an example of the ROW for the teams in the NHL standings. 

PositionTeamGPWLOTPointsROW
6Chicago Blackhawks82433279342
7Dallas Stars82433279340
8Colorado Avalanche823830149036
9Edmonton Oilers823830149030

This is a hypothetical example of standings for four teams to better understand the role of ROW  in determining the team positions.

The table shows that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars have equal points, so they are  tied for the same position. Despite having the same number of points, the ROW is different for  both teams. The Chicago Blackhawks have greater ROW than the Dallas Stars which means they  won more regulation play games than the shootout games, while the Dallas Stars won more games in the shootouts than the Blackhawks.  

Therefore, the Chicago Blackhawks have a higher ROW and stand first, while the Stars are  placed in the second position.

The same is the case for the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers. Both are having an  equal number of points, but the Colorado Avalanche have more regulation and overtime wins than the Edmonton Oilers, so they have a higher ROW. Therefore, the Avalanche will stand  before the Oilers.

This difference matters a lot sometimes. As in this case, eight teams qualify for the playoffs.  Since the Edmonton Oilers are on the ninth number, they cannot make it to the playoffs. 

What if Teams are Tied in the ROW? 

The NHL uses the ROW statistic in breaking the ties in the standings, but what if the ROW is  also equal for two teams? There is a possibility that the teams might tie in the ROW too. What will the NHL do then? 

In such a case, the team that has secured more in the head-to-head games will have a priority  over the other team. The difference in goals scored for and goals scored against in the regular  season also determines the team position. (Source)

And this is all about another NHL standings statistic, the ROW stat, which is one of the key  statistics in the standings. 

Happy Reading! 

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