WWYDW – Three-On-Three OT

It’s expected that the NHL Board of Governors will soon approve an overtime format change that will do away with the five minute four-on-four overtime period we know and love, and replace it with a single three-on-three overtime period.

The shootout, which we certainly know but do not love, will remain for now. With the new three-on-three format though, it’s expected that more games will be decided without relying on mini-games.

With that, Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock will now need to build at least a few three-man units to prepare for the new format. The four-on-four format wasn’t terribly interesting, as you would more often than not drop a winger from your top two lines and send them over the boards. In three-on-three, Babcock can get a little more creative.

You have to imagine that a lot of teams will experiment with icing three forwards as opposed to two forwards and a defender. That largely depends on if they have a defender who can skate well and quarterback an offence. 

So, if you were able to suggest new OT lineups to Babcock, who would you want to see out there during a three-on-three overtime? 

While he may not be a Leaf much longer, I’d start with Phil Kessel. After that, I’m calling on Nazem Kadri at centre and Morgan Rielly on the blueline. I wouldn’t mind using three forwards in an all-out attack system, but at the same time, I’m not sure that Toronto currently has a forward on the roster, outside of Kessel and Kadri, that has as much offensive creativity and can walk the blueline like Rielly.

Let me know who you’d ice in the comments below…

  • Douglas

    If Gardiner stays, I could see Reilly-Gardiner-Kadri.
    Two defence that can jump in just like forwards, and get back before anything happens at their end.. It’s also difficult to say because a lot of people can be gone

  • giproc

    All the more reason to draft for skill, speed and possession ability with both first round picks. It’s Shanny and Babcock’s preference anyway, so this should all work out.

  • Quasijr

    The problem with this is that you still get a poverty point for losing.
    I think its better to have a 3 points for win 1 for draw & 0 for loss.
    You have to make a team want to win that makes for better games.
    The cream will rise to the top.
    I also believe in relegation, worst 2-3 teams get relegated to AHL & top 2-3 teams from AHL get promoted. So you’ll never want to tank!!!!
    That would mean that the big guys can’t afford to lose games so they will play they’re A game & players & the small teams have to bring it every night.

  • When I heard the news of 3-on-3 being approved yesterday I immediatly thought of the Leafs and how my top pairing would be Rielly-Kadri-Gardiner. I’m sure most teams would go with a top OT line of 2 F / 1 D but if you have 2 fast offensive defencmen at your disposal why not throw them out there? The only negative with this would be if you don’t score in the first shift then you have to sit both your offensive D-men for a shift to rest up. Which would then give you a chance to throw out a 3 forward line or Phaneuf if he’s still around… Phaneuf-JVR-Kessel. No natural centre but it’s something to work with.

  • Gary Empey

    The D men often get their goals from slapshots from the point. Not sure if there will much of that 3 on 3.

    I would like to see them save the overtime for playoffs. Just go right to the shoot out.

  • silentbob

    I don’t get how 3-on-3 is any less of a gimmick then a shoot-out. I’d much rather they just extend the 4-on-4 OT to 10 minutes.

    And I agree with Quasijr, only I don’t see the reason for the points system anymore. Since every game ends in a win or a loss the NHL should JUST use wins and losses like the NFL, MLB and NBA.