With the news that the NHL is moving toward 3-on-3 overtime next season, pending Board of Governors approval, it’s a good time to see what 3-on-3 overtime actually looks like. Take a peek at this clip from a game between the Syracuse Crunch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from last March.
First thing you’ll notice is that Derrick Pouliot goes end to end, more or less, to get a scoring chance that Syracuse goalie Kristers Gudlevskis makes a great save on.
As you can see, it’s a format that favors offensive defensemen who can skate and create. Kris Letang, for instance, should really thrive. Give a guy like Letang (or Pouliot in this clip) lots of open ice while being defended one-on-one by a forward, and scoring chances will almost always develop.
Later in the clip, Syracuse scores the game-winning goal. The play begins when Jayson Megna falls down briefly behind the net. Conor Sheary goes for a poke-check that doesn’t work. One mistake will usually lead to an odd-man rush in a 3-on-3 situation. Two mistakes and you can guarantee someone is going to have a great opportunity to score.
So is 3-on-3 overtime a good idea? Is it less gimmicky than a shootout? That’s a matter of personal preference. But one thing is for sure. Adopting 3-on-3 overtime will greatly diminish the number of games that go to the shootout.
AHL VP of communications Jason Chaimovitch tweeted the following stat about last season in the league: “One goal was scored for every 8:33 of play at 4-on-4. One goal was scored for every 3:41 of play at 3-on-3.”
Do the math. When teams go 3-on-3 for five minutes, someone is going to score.
Bye for now,