Some interesting numbers:
“For some high-level numbers, the 2018-19 season to date has seen 770 games played. Twenty-one per cent of those games have been deadlocked after regulation. Past the 60-minute mark, the five-minute 3-on-3 window has solved 74 per cent of games. That means the other 26 per cent – 42 games at the all-Star break – required the shootout to allocate the game’s third point.”
First, and not mentioned in the article, is that we are at the point now where more than 1 in 5 games goes to overtime. That’s too many. The incentives need to change. There is too much of a “get the one point, try for the second in OT” mentality in the NHL now. It’s time to create different incentives to avoid OT at all.
Something like getting 3 points for a regulation win versus 2 for an overtime win. That would give teams an incentive to not play for the sure point, because they’d be losing a potential point as well.
Secondly, I’m all for adding some time to OT and getting less of the shootout. Yes, the 3 on 3 format is a gimmick, but it’s much less of one than the shootout is.
But why stop there? Why not play it until someone scores? Yes, there is a potential a game could go multiple OT periods and screw up the next game, and so on. But it’s much less likely in a 3 on 3 than it was when the NHL first came up with the 5 minute OT rule. So why not make another adjustment here?
I’d settle for adding enough time for over 90% of OT games to end before the shootout. I hate shootouts. Maybe that’s just me.