How The Point System Works In Hockey

By Alex Mercer

June 16, 2022

The term point is often tossed around in a game of hockey, and it may not be obvious if you are new to the game. Apart from recording points, a hockey point is a position on the ice where the defensemen stand close to the blue line in the offensive zone.

So, how do the hockey points work?

There are two ways to earn points when it comes to hockey. The first is when the opponents get the puck past the goalie or goal line, they get the point. The second way to earn points is when a player assists fellow teammates in scoring goals. Points are awarded to 3 players in hockey. The first player scores a goal, then the second player passes the puck to the person who scored the goal, and finally, the person who passes the puck to the person who gives an assist to the person who scored the goal. 

The point system might initially sound confusing, but after watching a couple of games, you notice hockey involves multiple passes from teammates for them to score a goal. 

The only way the goal counts is if the puck passes under the goal’s crossbar, across the goal line, and between the goal posts. The point still counts if the athlete propels the puck with their feet or hands. 

The primary and secondary assists don’t count on the scoreboard. However, the scored goal counts. Every goal is awarded a single point. The linesmen or the referees determine the viability of the assists. 

Effective Ways To Earn Points in Hockey

Below are ways in which a team can earn points in the National Hockey League (NHL) or any other arena you may qualify for.

  • The winning team scores more goals during the game.
  • The game goes to overtime, regulation, or shootout, and the winning team is awarded two points.
  • Hockey is a unique game as the losing team is awarded a point if they get to overtime and zero points if they lose a regulation.

However, there is an ongoing debate about the current NHL’s point system. The primary concern is that the current system doesn’t create enough room for competition to separate the good teams from the average ones.  

The proposed solution is adopting a 3-2-1 system, whereby the winning team earns three points, and if the game proceeds to overtime, two points are awarded to the winning team. In addition, the losing squad earns one point in overtime, and no point is awarded for a regulation loss. 

What Is The Point Position in Hockey?

To play the point position, the defenseman plays in the neutral or defending zone inside the blue line of the offensive zone. Scoring from the point is challenging. However, the teams use this position as part of the offensive strategy. 

The forwards can try to pass the puck to the defenseman at the point, hoping he has a clear shot into the net. However, the defending team blocks and shoots the puck back to the offensive zone. 

Ideal candidates for the point position possess good backward skating skills and a powerful slapshot. 

Back To The Basic Rules of Hockey

Like any other sport, hockey has rules the players must adhere to. Some rules apply in most sports, while others are mandatory in a hockey game. The basic rules of hockey include the following:

  • Hockey has three periods; each period is 20 minutes long, meaning the entire game is 60 minutes long. If the teams tie by the end of the 60 minutes, an additional five minutes is added as overtime.
  • If there is no winner after overtime, the game proceeds to a shootout, meaning the teams have a one-on-one with the goalie. Whoever wins any round is declared the winner.
  • A hockey team comprises 11 players, and six substitutes are allowed. The positions are divided into goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.
  • There are minor and major penalties in a hockey game. A major penalty is when the referee deems a player intending to injure another player during a play, while minor penalties result from hooking, slashing, tripping, or boarding. In addition, a major penalty takes five minutes, and a minor penalty takes two minutes.
  • Icing is an essential rule in hockey, and it states, “a tea cannot dump the puck into the opposing team’s zone from beyond the red line”. The red line is at the center of the rink.
  • For players to avoid swinging their hockey sticks dangerously and hurting each other, the rule states that you can only touch the puck with your stick if the puck is below your shoulders.
  • All players should hit the puck using only one side of the stick.
  • Substitutions in hockey are done differently than in other sports as they occur during the play, and the game doesn’t stop.
  • A coach can pull the goalie from his position and replace him with a skater, leaving the goal unguarded.
  • According to the NHL, a player should have essential gear like gloves, pads, visors, sticks, and proper skates to provide safety for the player and others. A cage helmet is necessary. However, players don’t need to wear it.
  • A hockey pitch has precise markings of the goal, penalty circle, halfway line, penalty corners, and a 23-meter line.

Bottom Line

The point system was created to reward players for scoring and assisting with goals. These points are tallied to see how effectively players score and assist on goals.

Great players will be toward the top in goals and assists. The more points a player has in hockey, the more valuable they are when they play.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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