Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Canucks’ Miller, Pettersson, Hughes, and Tocchet react to potential NHL OT rule changes
3 months ago
When the NHL first adopted its current 3-on-3 overtime format for the 2015-16 season, there seemed to be universal praise. Scrapping 5-on-5 overtime meant fewer shootouts, more ice for stars to shine, and ultimately, more room for high-speed plays to win games directly.
Fast forward nine years, and it appears that hockey fans have mixed emotions when it comes to how regular season games are decided when things are all tied up after 60 minutes of play.
And apparently, those mixed emotions have made their way to the league itself.
During the NHL’s latest GM Meetings, executives reportedly discussed possible tweaks to 3-on-3 OT rules that might limit or eliminate the most common strategy we see teams deploy in OT: Maintaining possession of the puck by skating it out of the offensive zone. This allows teams to make line changes and attack the O-Zone with speed, but it also kills time off the clock.
According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the league is looking at a couple of potential solutions. One is a rule that would limit teams from going back over the blue or red line once they’ve gained the zone, and the other is a good old fashioned shot clock.
We asked three of the Canucks’ most frequently used overtime personnel for their thoughts on the proposed changes.
“I love 3-on-3 overtime,” said Quinn Hughes, delivering perhaps the most unsurprising quote in the history of the sport. “It’s one of the most exciting things in the game. The players love it, the fans, I think it’s really enjoyable for them. There’s nothing worse than when teams have the puck the whole time and they just take it back and they’re not getting any chances. I think we had a game like that in Carolina two years ago but it doesn’t happen too much and we’ve only had one three on three game this year.”
“I feel like there is going to be no right answer, I didn’t know there were any issues,” added JT Miller. “Overtime is very stressful. Typically entering low 20s in minutes in overtime… I try to get my one crack in and get off the ice. I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
We also asked Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet to weigh in on the matter.
“It’s funny, me and Patrik [Allvin] had dinner last week and he told me they were going to — my feeling was they had general manager meetings before that to discuss it. I think you’ve got to be careful, what are you going to do now, you can’t go over centre?
“You’ve got to be careful. I don’t know how they’re going to change it, but I don’t know, I watch 3-on-3, I see Mackinnon, McDavid, and Draisaitl still get their looks. We get our looks, look at Kuzy against the Rangers he got his looks. I’m not sure what you can do, maybe if you regroup it twice you blow the whistle, that’s what they were talking about but that’s a judgment call on the refs, then you’re getting all those different decisions.
“I think you leave it alone for now, I don’t think we should tinker with it, me personally.”
Elias Pettersson, somewhat fittingly as the NHL’s leading scorer, thinks that if teams don’t like not having the puck, they should simply get better at the sport they’re playing.
“Now with overtime, I think the best thing to do is to have puck possession,” Pettersson told CanucksArmy. “It’s better to take it back because you have so much ice to work with. I don’t know if you can implement a rule where you have a time limit with the puck or whatever, I don’t think you can do that.
“I don’t know, it’s overtime. If teams are getting mad about the other team having the puck, maybe they shouldn’t lose the puck. I think it goes both ways. It’s hard to create a rule for that I think.”
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