The NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime format begins this season and the league wants to make sure teams are ready for the change. In order to make sure teams have a chance to practice the concept in a competitive setting, the NHL has instructed all of their teams to play 3-on-3 hockey at least three times during their preseason schedule – even if the game isn’t tied.
Fans will get taste of new OT format in preseason.NHL has instructed teams to play 3 on 3 OT at least three times,even if game isn't tied.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) September 15, 2015
It’s not clear how the teams will decide whether or not to shift to 3-on-3 play during a game, but it’s going to provide fans an early opportunity to see how open and exciting the new format will be. We’ll likely see teams return to action after the third period regardless of the final score and skate for a few minutes to get a better feel of 3-on-3.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see many teams – if not all teams – opt to play some 3-on-3 hockey in every preseason game on their schedule as opposed to just the league’s suggested three times. Practicing 3-on-3 in training camp will likely reveal a lot to teams, but you can’t compare training camp action to real competition. Strategies which might work in training camp may prove disastrous under real-game situations.