It used to be easy to differentiate teams with records over .500 from those at or below that magical mediocrity mark. Not anymore.
At one time you either finished the game with more goals than your opponent (won), finished with fewer goals (lost), or finished with the same goal total (tie). That is all. Thats it. Three columns.
Today the sport also generates three columns, but the numbers are a bit murky.
The 'W' column can be entered by scoring more goals in regulation, or in overtime and/or in The Shootout.
The Loss or 'L' column can only be accessed by scoring fewer goals than your opponent in regulation time (60 minutes)
And the third column - the one that used to house the number of ties you had - is now a sort of catch-all. Lose in OT, you get a point here. Get outscored in the breakaway contest (Shootout), that's right, get a point anyway.
This historical and statistical lesson is not without it's, well (pun alert)...point.
That point being the Stars are in fact 'above .500'. Rather healthily above .500 I might add. Five games over by my trademarked Razalgorithm.
And what is this "Razalgorithm"?
You take the team's games in which they scored more goals than their opponent and subtract the combined numbers from the other two columns (also known as 'games they didn't score as many goals as their opponents') and voi-friggin-da! The number you get, plus or minus, is the games over or under .500.
This algorithm, that took many exhausting minutes to concoct, is referred to in high-forehead, academic circles as 'common sense'.
Now, just for curiosity and comparison sake, here are some other W. Conference teams and their Monday afternoon 'over or under .500 numbers':
It's worth noting, in the regular NHL standings all 12 of these teams are 'over .500'.
Indeed, the modern NHL is not for losers. Everybody gets a trophy. Well, except the Blue Jacket - twenty games under .500 shouldn't get you anything but a really high draft pick, which, I guess you could say is a lovely consultation prize in itself.