A bit of an anomaly took place in overtime last night, when there were two full minutes of 3-on-3 play, after penalties to the Kings’ Alexei Ponikarovsky and New York’s Brandon Dubinsky. I’m sure it has happened before, but I’ve never seen it, and frankly it looked strange. It looked more like 1-on-1 play, with the other four guys standing awkwardly and watching. The idea of 3-on-3 play in overtime has been discussed, at least in a preliminary sense, as a possible overtime alternative/addition, so today I asked Drew Doughty what he thought of it…
DOUGHTY: “It’s definitely not something that you ever practice, because it’s pretty rare that it’s going to happen, but I like it. I was only out there for maybe 30 seconds, and we were in our D-zone, so I would love to have the puck in a 3-on-3 situation. I think I could do a lot of damage, 3-on-3. I’m good at finding those open seams and making good passes. I think if I had got back out there, hopefully I could have made a difference. But I didn’t, and it’s too bad we didn’t win, obviously.”
Question: Is it something that you could see becoming a part of the game?
DOUGHTY: “I think 4-on-4 is already pretty good. A lot of games obviously go to the shootout, and that’s because teams are so good, defensively, 4-on-4. But at the same time, I still think there are a lot of chances. In the overtime games that I’ve played in my first three years, I think there have been a lot of chances in 4-on-4. The goalie is either coming up with the big save or the guy is missing the net or something like that. So maybe if they went 4-on-4 for four minutes, and then 3-on-3 for a couple, maybe that would make a difference, but at the same time, I like the shootout. It sucks to lose in a shootout, but it’s a lot of fun to win one, too.”