Boston Bruins Will Benefit from 3 on 3 Overtime


The new 3 on 3 overtime format set to be implemented into the NHL this upcoming season will almost certainly achieve the ultimate goal of curbing the frequency of shootouts deciding hockey games.  The AHL gave it a test run last year, and managed to drop the number of shootouts a healthy amount, resulting in nearly 75% of games not going the distance.

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If the NHL can produce a similar reduction in shootouts, that’s good news for the Boston Bruins.  Last season the B’s were awful in those situations.  They ended the year 4-10 during the gimmicky skills competition (that should not decide games), missed out on 6 points, and looked bad doing it.  Their overtime record, however, was 9-4.  That’s almost a complete 180 from their record in shootouts.

Had the Bruins had the luxury of 3 on 3 overtimes last year, it’s possible they would have grabbed a few extra points and extended their season by at least a few weeks instead of missing out by a narrow two point margin.

The Bruins have all the tools to excel in 3 on 3 play.  We saw a brief glimpse of what that will be like in  a March contest against the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.  After the game extended into overtime, a penalty for each side evened things up at 3 on 3.

David Pastrnak threatened twice in a short span of time, flying all over the ice and using his speedy play-making ability to come at the Lightning.  Brad Marchand later noted that he felt like he had a ton of space to make plays.

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  • 3 on 3 overtime will open things up for the whole league.  Expect to see two forwards and a defenseman out on the ice when games head into the extra period.  If Claude Julien lets the horses run like he did last in that game against the Lightning, Boston has the weapons to capitalize big time in OT and overwhelm opponents

    Pastrnak, Marchand, and a puck moving defenseman who can make plays, like Torey Krug, should shine in these situations.  Should Colin Miller break camp with the team, he may also be a force to be reckoned with in the new format.  Opponents will have to pay some respect to his dangerous shot as a defenseman, which will open up a little more room for Pastrnak.

    I’m against the shootout being a part of professional hockey games, and this is a big step in the right direction for people who want to squeeze them out.  Shootout numbers should drop this year, giving the B’s one less headache that they just couldn’t figure out.  With the scoring weapons Boston is armed with, that will turn out to be a great benefit to this Bruins team.

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