NHL teams will get to experiment with 3-on-3 overtime during the preseason, whether they finish a game tied or not.
“We’ve designated three preseason games per team where they will use 3-on-3 overtime format, regardless of what the score is at the end of regulation,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA Today.
Each team has reportedly been asked to play at least three 3-on-3 OT sessions during the preseason.
Update: The league has designated 45 games for 3-on-3 play. Click here for the list.
The NHL introduced 3-on-3 overtime as a way to reduce the number of shootouts that were deciding games.
The new format should be a learning experience for all involved. At this point, nobody knows exactly what to expect. Different coaches will have different strategies. Some may preach attacking. Others may choose a more cautious approach, predicated on puck possession.
St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock described a 3-on-3 session he witnessed during a prospects scrimmage as “absolute chaos.”
“There wasn’t a scoring chance 4-on-4 for 10 or 12 minutes,” Hitchcock said, per TSN.ca. “As soon as it went to 3-on-3, the whole energy changed, the whole game changed. It was just score, score, score.”