The NHL going to 3-on-3 overtime is a game changer. With more room on the ice and more dependence on speed, it’s sure to send chills up your spine in place of sending more games to the shootout. With many teams being able to employ some top forwards, there are some teams that can put fear into opposing coaches in this new format. Here are five that will probably win more of these than they lose:
Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Lightning can beat you with two lineups. They can go Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn, and Victor Hedman at you, or they could go for broke with the Triplets (Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov). With their speed and passing skills down low, I’d be surprised if many of their overtimes went two minutes let alone five.
The Hawks have two lineups they can mix and match in this format and scare you to death. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith are seemingly unstoppable … especially with Kane’s filthy hands and overtime success. But how about Marian Hossa, Teuvo Teravainen, and Brent Seabrook as a second unit? Not shabby at all.
Sidney Crosby with a healthy Evgeni Malkin and a healthy Kris Letang will be deadly, and up there with any three-man lineup in the game. Piecing a second unit together might be an issue, but Patric Hornqvist, Brandon Sutter, and Olli Maataa could be a sleeper unit that can have some success.
Los Angeles Kings:
Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, and Drew Doughty are going to be tough on teams in the Western Conference. And if that isn’t enough, they can throw you some combination of that 70’s line with Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King, and Tanner Pearson, along with Justin Williams and Alec Martinez. For a team that led the conference with 15 overtime losses (which cost them a playoff spot), this new rule could help them the most.
Detroit Red Wings:
They may be getting older but the last thing Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk need is more open ice. Goalies do not want Datsyuk bearing down on them with their own defensemen having to go cross-ice to pick them up. And don’t forget Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist as a second forward unit.
Because any team that has Erik Karlsson on it in the 3-on-3 has a huge advantage. Team him with Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone and they’ll get some wins.
The Sedin twins, with their skill down low and ability to find each other could be sneaky deadly. Who needs that pesky extra wing anyway?