Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Rules Coming for 2015-16 NHL Season

The NHL Board of Governors approved some new rules for the upcoming 2015-16 NHL season.  I believe one was needed, the other will bring a lot more excitement to the game.

The first change is that of the overtime format.  As regulation is a 5-on-5 format, overtime was reduced to a 4-on-4 format for the start of the 1999-2000 season.  It was an attempt to reduce the chance of a game ending in a tie with having more open ice and more room for the chance to score the game winning goal in overtime.  Six years later, the shootout was introduced as games were still ending in overtime as a tie.  The shootout over the last few years has had its share of scrutiny.  So, 3-on-3 hockey will be implemented during the 5 minute overtime period.  

In my opinion, I think this is a great move for the NHL.  On a rare occurrence in overtime, there will be offsetting penalties to bring the 4-on-4 down to a 3-on-3.  From what little I've seen, it's a great opportunity with a huge amount of ice for teams to throw out their star players who are fast and can create opportunities for scoring chances.

Whether a team goes with two forwards and one defenseman on the ice or one forward and two defenseman, that will be the coaches call.  Honestly, with the firepower that the Blackhawks have, Coach Q can throw two lines of horror at any team, (Toews,Kane,Keith), (Hossa, Saad, Seabrook).  You could also throw Teravainen in the mix as well.  I'm REALLY looking forward to that.

The other change is the coaches challenge.  This is a needed addition since there have been the rare times where an apparent offside, leads to a goal.  A review can be made by the head coach to reverse that now.  If a coach challenges and loses, that team will lose their one and only timeout.  This has happened a few different times dating back to the last few years in the playoffs where it is more relevant as teams play a more defensive game in the playoffs.


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