In my post yesterday I mentioned rule changes in the NHL and how they have a negative impact when it comes to player safety. One thing that is a major rule change for this season is the 3v3 Overtime.
Going back to the origin of hockey, the pond, we remember the times we skated 3v3 and how much more opportunities that created. Whether you were on a smaller or larger pond, it always seemed like 3v3 was the best scenario for the most ferocious pace and ability to work on your moves.
While on offense, you only have two options for a pass. This cuts down the probability that a skilled player will actually move the puck. Instead they are more likely to make a move, create time and space, or use their speed to create a passing lane. Kids on the pond learn to be more creative in these situations, one can only imagine what the best players in the world will do with this opportunity.
I think you will see more offensive creativity from defensemen and at the same time you will see how well high profile forwards can cover a man. The ice surface will be so wide open that it will be difficult for coaches to manage their bench and get the matchups that they intend.
Speaking from a coaching standpoint, it will be interesting to see how a coach dictates which players are on the ice. In Pittsburgh for instance, I doubt you will see Malkin, Crosby and Kessel on the ice together in OT, but could you imagine if they were? It would be unreal to see them control the puck and create opportunities for each other.
Will two shut-down centers come out with the team’s top defensemen? Will there be one defensemen or two on the ice? There are so many options and obviously every team has strong and weak spots in their rosters. Either way, I don’t think the coaches will be able to play the OT period cautiously. I understand there are points on the line, but in order to get those points, risks will need to be taken.
Overall, I think this will create a buzz and excitement around the league that the NHL was hoping for with the shootout. The shootout scenario has seemed to lose its glamour over the past few seasons. Maybe this new OT strategy will lead to the extinction of the shootout?
I cannot speak from a NHL player’s prospective, however, I would imagine they are more enthused about getting the opportunity to win games in OT in a 3v3 setting then winning games in a soccer like shootout scenario.
Whatever the case, I hope we get to witness OT tonight!
Now the league just needs to do away with the delay of game (puck over glass) rule……
Predictions for 10/07/2015:
Montreal 5 Toronto 2
NY Rangers 3 Chicago 2 (OT)
Vancouver 1 Calgary 3
San Jose 2 Los Angeles 1