This past off season the NHL approved a 5 minute, sudden death overtime that will be played in a new 3 on 3 format. Previously the NHL played 4 on 4 overtime at the end of regulation play if the score was tied followed by a shootout to determine the winner of the game. Now the shootout is still in effect if the game remains tied after overtime. That being said, with only 6 players on the ice at a time for 5 minutes there is a lot more room to skate, pass, and shoot.
The purpose of the 3 on 3 is to increase excitement for fans watching the game and also have less games going to a shootout to determine which team gets the extra point. I am all for this going forward especially with the size, speed, and skill of everyone who plays in the NHL now.
The talent gap is so small between a 1st liner and a 4th liner now that most players are able to put the biscuit in the basket given the opportunity to do so. Throughout the first 45 pre season games this year 3 on 3 OT was given a trial run at the end of regulation regardless of what the score in the game was. This was meant to give the players, coaches, and fans a taste of things to come.
If this works the NHL will look like geniuses, and if it doesn’t work you know what they are still geniuses in each others eyes lets be honest. You can catch all the action starting next Wednesday, October.7 as the NHL season kicks off with 8 teams playing including our Vancouver Canucks.
An idea of how much open space is on the ice during 3 on 3 overtime. (nhl.com)