Change could be coming to the NHL’s overtime format as soon as next season.
Pending approval from the league’s Board of Governors, overtime play will switch from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 in the regular season, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Overtime would remain a five-minute period. [tweet https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/613499436245909504 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/613499811321507840 align=”center”]
Among the main reasons to change the overtime format to 3-on-3 instead of 4-on-4 is to decrease the amount of games decided by shootouts. Of the 1,230 regular-season games in 2014-15, 13.82 percent went to a shootout — the fourth-highest rate of the nine 82-game seasons since the 2004-05 lockout.
The Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning played a little 3-on-3 overtime in March because of penalties, and the action was fast-paced, exciting and full of scoring chances.
“I thought there was lots of room, and if we would have kept — we went back to the 4-on-3 — but if we would have stayed like that, something can happen because there’s so much room and there’s lots of skills on the ice,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said after the 3-2 shootout win. “Yeah, I’d be for it.”
Brad Marchand, Bergeron’s linemate, called the 3-on-3 “a good experience.”
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images