Man, I love 3-on-3 OT
Okay don’t get me wrong, I understand points made by both sides of this argument. I understand the fact that the playoffs have a totally different format than the regular season, and I understand why some people don’t like the regular season 3-on-3 overtime format.
However, watching the best of the best from two teams like we saw last night, running and gunning back and forth, trading shots with one another and huge saves from both goaltenders, has me on the edge of my seat for almost the entirety of the five minutes.
Since the 3-on-3 format was implemented, we have seen some very exciting Canucks goals over the years. Take Daniel Sedin‘s overtime winner in his final game at Rogers Arena against the Arizona Coyotes last year for example. The fact that the Coyotes had three players killing the penalty meant more ice for Daniel and brother Henrik Sedin to work their signature cycle with the Canucks on the man advantage.
There was lots of open ice for them to pass the puck around, and for the new age Canucks, that amount of ice leads to high-flying, exciting hockey. I don’t know about you all, but whenever a game goes to overtime, I pay very close attention. If you blink, you might just miss a goal, that’s how fast 3-on-3 OT feels.
Last night’s overtime was a wonderful treat. We got to see Pettersson break out of the Canucks end and enter the offensive zone near top speed. He had a quality shot on Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen, and the play went quickly the other way after Andersen kicked out the left pad to send the play the other way.
With just three men on the ice, we also see a fair amount of long stretch passes. It was one of these stretch passes that lead to the overtime winner from Edler. The game-winner last night brought the roof off of Rogers Arena as Edler was mobbed by his teammates.
I know I mentioned it earlier in the article, but let me just repeat, the Leafs were 32-0 when leading going into the third period this season. I know the point is probably moot because the Canucks playoff chances are extremely slim, but the entertaining win last night gives fans a glimpse into the future that we already know is extremely bright.
As for the young Canucks this season, they are not giving up on the playoffs. Post-game, coach Green said “Our guys, they’re not giving up yet, I can tell you that. They’re not looking to just play out the last 15. They know the odds are against them [to make the playoffs] but they’re not done yet.”
Whether you’re on team tank or still on team playoffs, or somewhere in between, that win last night was entertaining for every type of Canucks fan — even the casual ones. The Canucks will get right back at it tonight when they take on the Edmonton Oilers from Rogers Place in Alberta. Puck drop is at 6 PM.