How did NHL overtime lose all its action? Let the Rangers explain

How did NHL overtime lose all its action? Let the Rangers explain

When three-on-three overtime was introduced to the NHL in the 2015-16 season, it was helter-skelter, it was chaotic and it was spectacular.


“Oh, me and Kaner were wheeling,” Artemi Panarin said with a huge smile on his face in referencing then-Chicago teammate Patrick Kane. “Two-on-one…two-on-one…two-on-one.


“It’s not like that anymore.”

It’s not like that around the NHL anymore after coaches and players alike recognized that possession was paramount.


Teams have stopped attacking at all costs, often bringing the puck back outside the zone to keep possession while making changes on the fly, for lack of a better term. Teams now circle back into their own end in order to retain possession.


It’s a risk-reward game now. Teams minimize risks. They minimize shot attempts.


The Wild, for instance, have played 13:07 of three-on-three this season in which there have been just 19 attempted shots.

Overtime often turns into five minutes of tedium.


That was not the intention. As a result, the league will examine potential rule changes to elevate the entertainment quotient of three-on-three.

With possession, you can score goals. But a lot of goals come off of some sort of transition. You have possession, you’re pressing and all of a sudden someone’s coming back the other way on an odd-man rush either on a breakaway or a two-on-one.


“As far as our group goes, just like everything else, we try to have some sort of a plan. It’s never perfect because hockey is such a fluid game. In some sports, you can go out 30 feet, turn to the left and there’s a play there to be made. That’s not the way hockey is sometimes.


“It’s more you have to read-and-react off the defenses, and I think it’s the same way with three-on-three. It is something we talk about and try to have systems and an identity


Including specialty-team play (power plays are four-on-three in OT), K’Andre Miller leads the team in ice time with 8:41. Mika Zibanejad leads the forwards with 7:53. Vincent Trocheck checks in next at 6:22, six seconds more than Panarin. No. 16 has taken one shot on two attempts, the second blocked.


“If I’m out there playing with Bread [Panarin], I know what his mindset is, he’s trying to attack and create a chance,” Trocheck said. “But there’s a strategy once nothing is being created.Obviously, it’s hard to score, so if nothing is happening and there is a lull for a bit you have to make sure you don’t let them get the change and are able to get the change yourselves. That way you’re fresh and can create a little bit of a mismatch.”


The Rangers have amassed a total of four shots in their four overtime games, being outshot 14-4 overall and 9-4 at three-on-three. They have been out-attempted 22-9 in 14:51 of three-on-three.


It is always easier to obstruct than create. The NHL wants excitement. Players and coaches want two points.


“I don’t know what to change, but if there is an idea that [creates] more scoring chances and goals, that’s always great,” Panarin said. “It’s great for business, for fans, and for everything.

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