Three-on-Three is Fine by Me

steve laidlaw




Looking at the potential fantasy hockey implications of 3-on-3 overtime.


It looks like the NHL is heading towards adding 3-on-3 overtime hockey based on the model being experimented with in the AHL this season. It's a good move, based on these numbers just under a quarter of all games at both the NHL and AHL level go to overtime. At the NHL level 10.7% of games are decided in overtime and a further 13.8% have to go to shootout. The numbers were similar for the AHL but with a slightly higher portion of games going to the shootout with just 4-on-4 overtime. Adding 3-on-3 overtime has reduced shootouts to just 5.6% of games a reduction of 10% from last season's 15.6%. That's huge, just think about the fantasy implications.


There are 1230 NHL games every year and currently 13.8% of them go to a shootout. Drop that to just 3.8% and you have 123 extra games decided by an actual goal that will count in fantasy pools. That's a potential 369 extra points to be distributed.


That's not an exact extrapolation of course, let's say instead of dropping by 10% we see the NHL 3-on-3 overtime reduce shootouts to the same level we've seen at the AHL level this season (5.6%). In that case we'd still see an extra 101 games decided through an actual goal that counts in pools and potentially 303 points that could be spread around.


The AHL has actually seen scoring climb from 5.34 goals per game last season to 5.76 this season. That's a greater jump than the added scoring from increased overtime goals can account for but still shows that the increase in overtime scoring has helped add real offense to the AHL game.


Who is going to score these extra goals?