NHL Top 10 Potential 3 v 3 Overtime Teams

Image courtesy of nhl.com

This season, the NHL has introduced a 3 v 3 overtime rule, to try to end the stalemate before it comes to the shootout.

With a few of these 3 on 3 man overtimes having been played, it seems as though the two forwards and one defenseman set up is going to be preferable to most teams.

Here are the potential top 10 teams in the new overtime format.

  1. Dallas Stars

Dallas’ forwards would certainly benefit from having more space on the ice. Players like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Patrick Sharp will flourish in the overtime situations.

Either of John Klingberg or Alex Goligoski would do well on the blue line but are also fairly quick on the back-check.

The main problem for the Stars, in these overtime situations, is their goalkeepers. Both are very erratic, in terms of form, and neither are great at sustaining heavy offensive pressure.

 

Optimum Line: Lehtonen – Klingberg – Benn – Seguin

  1. Anaheim Ducks

Like the Stars, Anaheim host two All-Star forwards, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Both players are very good in front of goal and in the defensive zone.

As the defensive part of the trio, Hampus Lindholm might be the preferred option. He’s a big guy, with a fair shot on him but most importantly, he’s pretty fast. Speed will be a crucial asset in these new overtime situations as breakaways will be far easier to come by.

With 6’4’’ Dane Frederik Andersen between the irons, Anaheim should feel ok about having to sustain pressure during parts of overtime.

 

Optimum Line: Andersen – Lindholm – Perry – Getzlaf

  1. Montreal Canadiens

Having the best keeper in the league automatically puts the Canadiens in great standing for the 3 on 3 hockey. He’ll be able to keep the net clear for long enough to allow his team mates to win back possession.

Obviously the mighty P.K. Subban would be an ideal feature for the Habs. As Subban is probably more of an offensive-defenseman rather than a two-way-defenseman, another defender may be wanted in this overtime line.

Jeff Petry would serve a strong defensive role, whilst being able to dish the puck around from the blue line. But, there would be no harm in fully trusting P.K’s defensive abilities so they could go with two up top.

Captain Max Pacioretty provides great speed and movement, as does Alex Galchenyuk, and either would be very well suited to the new format. But just one of these on the ice would be enough.

The Habs would want to employ their top faceoff man to get into their opposition as quickly as possible, and for that they’ll need Tomas Plekanec. Last season the heft Czech won the most faceoffs for his team last season. David Desharnais posted a better faceoff win percentage but Plekanec’s would be more useful in this format.

 

Optimum Line: Price – Subban – Pacioretty – Plekanec

  1. Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings have gotten off to a flyer this season, smashing Toronto 4-0 and then beating Carolina 4-3 the very next day, and this has been without the deke-king, Pavel Datsyuk.

Jimmy Howard is a well established net minder but has been giving up appearances to young Czech, Petr Mrázek. Howard is most probably preferred in overtime at the minute, but it won’t be too long before Mrázek is a regular feature for Detroit.

The Red Wings are definitely a team that would benefit more from having 2 forwards and 1 defender on the field. Niklas Kronwall would be a nightmare for opposing offences; not only is he quick on the ice, but he also puts huge hits on. He would not allow the opposition any time on the puck.

The two forwards could comprise of: Henrik Zetterberg, Tomáš Tatar, Justin Abdelkader, Gustav Nyquist or Pavel Datsyuk, in any combination. All would be great assets offensively and defensively.

 

Optimum Line: Howard – Kronwall – Zetterberg – Abdelkader

  1. Washington Capitals

Before mentioning you know who let’s go through the keeper and defenseman. In net they have Braden Holtby who, despite being quite young for a keeper, is a top 5 goalie in the NHL.

Sitting in front of Holtby could be either Brooks Orpik or John Carlson. The pair came 3rd and 4th in the league for blocked shots. However, Carlson managed to seal 36 more points than Orpik last season, so would be better for trying to get that all important overtime winner.

Orpik, against the New Jersey Devils last week, did manage to pop his 92 game goalless-streak with a shot from the high slot.

Now to state the obvious, of course Alex Ovechkin would star in Washington’s 3 v 3. Who would join him is a bit more difficult to decide. For now, it’ll most likely be Nicklas Bäckström; the centre is basically programmed to set up goals.

However, once the new Cap, T.J. Oshie, is a bit more settled and accustomed to the Washington style, he could easily feature alongside Great-8 in overtime. But if all else fails, Oshie will produce in the shootout.

 

Optimum Line: Holtby – Carlson – Bäckström – Ovechkin

  1. San Jose Sharks

If Chomp Time is anything to go by, the Sharks should be very good in the new overtime system. With even more ice to make plays on, San Jose’s stars should be prolific.

The most important addition to the team at the Shark Tank was goaltender Martin Jones. Though young, and quite inexperienced, he possesses buckets of talent and ability. He’s a huge step up from the calamity-fest that was Antti Niemi.

As a Sharks fan, I wished we’d never found “Nemo”.

The Sharks would most likely get All-Star defender/forward/defender Brent Burns on the ice as much as possible. The Wookie perfectly embodies the term of being an all-rounder with his offensive abilities being as grand as his offensive skills.

Power forward Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski could team up for overtime, as they do in line 1 for the Sharks or, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture could take to the ice to try and seal the sudden death winner. Either combination would be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Optimum Line: Jones – Burns – Pavelski – Thornton

  1. Nashville Predators

The Preds might be one of those teams that would opt for a two defenseman approach, given the firepower of their two top liners. Shea Weber and Roman Josi are animals when it comes to defending their net and hammering the puck from the blue line. Josi is the perfect example of a two-way forward and would thrive on the open ice.

Sophomore Filip Forsberg or veteran Mike Ribeiro would be great at the top of the three or as a pair, with just one defender behind them.

The Predators are very good at dealing with offensive pressure, so speed on the breakaway could be key to their overtime success.

Even if under pressure early, Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne will keep Nashville in the game for long enough to allow them to push up the ice, and enforce their own attack.

 

Optimum Line: Rinne – Josi – Weber – Forsberg

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning

The 2015 Stanley Cup finalists have one of the most exciting offences in the league, and any number of their talented forwards could make the ice in overtime. Big name stars such as Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan and Tyler Johnson help to boost top prospects like Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov.

Despite all of this, the NHL’s first 3 on 3 overtime goal was scored by the Lightning’s defenseman, Jason Garrison, who was assisted by Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula.

Big Ben Bishop, standing at 6’7’’ looks as though he fills the goal at times. He kept 3 shutouts in their run to the cup final last year and has improved with each passing season with the Bolts.

Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Jason Garrison are all very well suited to the 3 v 3 style of play. All can pass and move with speed and they all have a good shot on them.

 

Optimum Line: Bishop – Garrison – Johnson – Stamkos

  1. Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks, like their finalist companions, have also tested their skates in the new overtime regulations. The current champions also won their bout after regulation.

Patrick Kane got the Blackhawks’ game winner whilst on the ice with Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith.

Jonathan Toews would also be very effective in the 3 v 3. The captain’s team mentality and work ethic would make him perfect for the back and fourth format.

Corey Crawford kept out one shot in the overtime battle against the New York Islanders and made 33 saves during regulation.

 

Optimum Line: Crawford – Keith – Hossa – Kane

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins

How could they not be number one when they arguably have the two best hockey players in the world. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin strike fear into every goaltender’s heart. They are a force to be reckoned with.

The Penguins also have All-Star Kris Letang on their blue line. When fit, he is one of the best defenders in the league. He may struggle a bit during the regular season, as he’s surrounded by a lot of cheap or inexperienced defensemen, but in 3 on 3, he’ll be able to take matters into his own hands.

Despite the fact that he’s received a lot of criticism and blame over the years, Marc-André Fleury is a quality keeper. He’s got a lot of NHL experience and has 38 career shutouts.

 

Optimum Line: Fleury – Letang – Malkin – Crosby

 

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