What Does OTL Mean In Ice Hockey

In the world of hockey, the mysterious realm of overtime and OTL (OverTime Loss) holds a special significance. For those who yearn to belong to the inner circle of hockey aficionados, understanding the secrets of these enigmatic concepts is of utmost importance.

When a game extends beyond the regulation time, OTL comes into play, signifying a team’s loss. Overtime, on the other hand, acts as a tiebreaker, ensuring a thrilling end to an evenly matched contest. The National Hockey League (NHL) has its own set of rules for overtime, with adjustments made to increase the likelihood of a decisive goal.

In the playoffs, the intensity heightens as the overtime period extends, pushing both players and fans to the edge of their seats. Additionally, the allocation of points in overtime situations adds another layer of complexity to the game.

By unraveling the mysteries of OTL and overtime, this article aims to provide a deeper understanding of these integral aspects of hockey and foster a sense of belonging among its readers.

Definition and Explanation of OTL

OTL, an abbreviation for ‘OverTime Loss’, is a term used in hockey to describe a team’s defeat in a game that goes beyond the regulation time. When the score is tied after the regular time, an extra period called overtime is introduced. Overtime is a high-stakes period where teams battle to score a goal and secure a win.

In the NHL, during the regular season, overtime lasts for five minutes and is played with three skaters on each team, increasing the chances of a goal being scored. If neither team scores in overtime, the game moves into a shootout.

Overtime losses, recorded as OTL, have an impact on team standings. While losing in regulation time results in zero points, losing in overtime earns the team one point, which can be crucial in the playoff race. Therefore, OTL statistics play a significant role in determining a team’s position in the standings.

Overtime in the NHL

Continuing the exploration of overtime in hockey, the NHL implements specific rules and regulations for this crucial period of play. In the regular season, overtime lasts for 5 minutes and is played with three skaters per team, increasing the chances of a goal being scored. If no goal is scored during this time, a shootout determines the winner. However, in the playoffs, overtime is extended to 20 minutes, and teams play with their full complement of skaters. The first team to score in overtime is declared the winner.

The impact of overtime on team standings is significant. In an overtime situation, both teams receive one point, with the winner of the overtime period earning an additional point. Losing in overtime is better than losing in regulation time, as teams still earn a point. Therefore, NHL overtime strategies become crucial for teams aiming to secure valuable points and improve their standings. By employing effective offensive and defensive tactics, teams can maximize their chances of winning in overtime and gaining an edge in the competitive league.

To better understand the impact of overtime on team standings, let’s take a look at the table below:

Team Games Played Wins OT Wins OT Losses Points
Team A 50 35 3 2 75
Team B 50 33 4 5 75
Team C 50 34 2 4 74
Team D 50 32 1 6 71
Team E 50 31 6 3 71

As shown in the table, teams earn points not only through wins but also through overtime wins and overtime losses. This further emphasizes the importance of overtime strategies and highlights how OTL impacts team standings.

Overtime in the Playoffs

During the playoffs, overtime in hockey is extended to 20 minutes, allowing teams to play with their full complement of skaters. This change in duration has significant implications for overtime strategies and the impact on team dynamics.

In regular season overtime, teams often adopt a more cautious approach, focusing on possession and limiting defensive mistakes. However, in playoffs, the stakes are higher and teams are more likely to take risks to secure a win. Coaches may adjust their line combinations and defensive strategies to maximize offensive opportunities.

The pressure and intensity of playoff overtime can also affect team dynamics, as players must navigate the physical and mental challenges of prolonged high-stakes play. The ability to perform under pressure and make split-second decisions becomes crucial in determining success or failure in playoff overtime.

NHL Overtime Points

The allocation of points in NHL overtime is an important aspect of the game that impacts team standings and playoff positioning. In an overtime situation, both teams receive one point. However, the winner of the overtime period gets an additional point, while the team that loses in overtime receives only one point.

This means that losing in overtime is better in terms of points than losing in regulation time. These overtime points can make a significant difference in the standings, especially in tightly contested divisions or conferences. It provides teams with an opportunity to gain valuable points even in defeat, which can ultimately determine their playoff chances.

Therefore, understanding the NHL overtime rules and the impact of OTL on standings is crucial for teams as they strive for a spot in the postseason.

SOL and Shootout

One important aspect of overtime in hockey is the occurrence of SOL, which stands for ‘shootout loss’. When a game remains tied after the 5-minute overtime period, teams proceed to a shootout to determine the winner. Shootout rules involve players taking turns shooting one-on-one against the opposing team’s goalie. The team with the most goals after three rounds wins the shootout and receives an extra point in the standings.

The team that loses in the shootout receives the standard one point from overtime, which is recorded as a SOL instead of an OTL. The impact of SOL on standings is significant, as teams that accumulate SOLs have fewer points compared to teams that win in overtime or regulation time. This can affect their positioning in the standings and their chances of making the playoffs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Overtime Losses (Otl) Different From Regulation Losses in Terms of Points in the Nhl?

Overtime losses (OTL) and regulation losses differ in terms of points in the NHL. While regulation losses result in zero points, OTL grants one point to the losing team. This difference in points can have an impact on a team’s standing in the league.

Can a Team Earn More Than One Point in a Single Game During Overtime?

Yes, a team can earn more than one point in a single game during overtime. The impact of overtime points on playoff standings is significant, as earning two points instead of one can greatly affect a team’s position.

Are There Any Differences in the Format of Overtime Between the Regular Season and Playoffs?

There are differences in the format of overtime between the regular season and playoffs in hockey. In the regular season, overtime is a 5-minute period of 3 on 3 play, while in the playoffs, it is a 20-minute period that repeats until a goal is scored.

What Happens if a Game Is Still Tied After the First Overtime Period in the Playoffs?

If a game is still tied after the first overtime period in the playoffs, a new 20-minute period is introduced. The first team to score in this extended period is declared the winner, with all five skaters on the ice.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Overtime Periods That Can Be Played in the Playoffs Before a Winner Is Determined?

There is no limit to the number of overtime periods that can be played in the playoffs before a winner is determined. However, multiple overtime periods can lead to increased player fatigue and require teams to adjust their strategies and tactics.


In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of OTL and overtime in hockey is essential for both fans and players. The allocation of points in overtime situations adds an extra layer of complexity to the game, making every goal and win crucial.

Whether it’s the regular season or playoffs, overtime serves as a tiebreaker and can often lead to nail-biting moments and dramatic finishes. For example, in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the St. Louis Blues won the championship after scoring an overtime goal in Game 7 of the finals, showcasing the excitement and unpredictability of hockey’s overtime period.