The NHL standings could look a little different this season.
While regular-season games that remain tied after regulation and a five-minute overtime will still be decided in a shootout, those shootout victories won't be worth quite as much.
The NHL announced on Tuesday that the league's board of governors on Tuesday approved a revision to the league bylaws that would use only regulation and overtime wins to break ties in the standings for the purposes of playoff seeding when teams have the same number of points at the conclusion of the season.
It's a minor tweak meant to decrease the impact of the one-on-one skills competition that is the shootout. More weight will now be given to teams that actually manage to win games when entire teams are on the ice.
The Bruins could be particularly affected by this change, as they have annually been among the leaders in games decided by shootouts since that method to avoid ties was adopted in the 2005-06 season. In those five seasons, Boston has participated in 65 shootouts, tying Edmonton and the New York Rangers for the most in the league. The Bruins only rank tied for eighth in shootout victories with 31, and they are third in shootout losses with 34.
Last year, the Bruins tied the 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers for the second-most shootouts in a single season with 19, trailing just Phoenix, which was involved in 20 during the 2009-10 season. Boston won 10 of those shootouts last year, accounting for more than a quarter of its 39 victories.