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3-on-3 great for fans, hard for goalies, Schneider says

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider thinks he would rather watch the NHL's new overtime format than play in it.

Schneider took part in the Competition Committee talks that led to the approval of 3-on-3 overtime for this season.

"It's going to be interesting for the goalies," Schneider told ESPN.com in remarks published Thursday. "I was a passenger during that discussion. I suggested a side category where a goalie's 3-on-3 stats could be hidden away and not put into your main stats, because it's going to be tough.

"There's so much talent in the NHL and sometimes 5-on-5 opens up, but 3-on-3 is going to open up and fans are really going to love it. It's going to be up and down the ice. It's going to be hard for us goalies, so we're going to have to be really sharp and ready to go."

The change to the overtime format was approved by the NHL Board of Governors on June 24.

It calls for 3-on-3 for a five-minute period in regular-season games tied at the end of regulation. The League played 4-on-4 overtime since the 1999-2000 season. Regular-season games tied at the end of overtime will continue to be decided by a shootout.

The 3-on-3 overtime is designed to create more space on the ice, allowing for more goals to be scored to end more games in overtime rather than the shootout, similar to what the American Hockey League experienced last season.

By adding 3-on-3 to its overtime, the AHL had 75 percent of its games that went past regulation in 2014-15 decided in overtime. It was 35.3 percent in 2013-14, when it played 4-on-4 overtime. AHL overtime was seven minutes last season and started 4-on-4 before going to 3-on-3 if there was no goal scored through the first three minutes. The AHL Board of Governors on July 10 voted to mirror the NHL's new overtime format beginning this season.

The NHL had 44.4 percent of games tied after regulation decided in overtime last season (136 of 306).

The NHL/NHL Players' Association Competition Committee met during the Stanley Cup Final, when goalie equipment also was discussed. There are no changes in that area this season, but research will continue.

"I'm very progressive and other guys may not be," Schneider said. "I think we should all be on the same playing field, doing the same thing, and let the talent win out. If you're talented, can move around the net and stop pucks, those are the guys that should be in the League. Not to say there are guys who aren't like that, because everyone is an incredible goalie, but you have guys now that [are] 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7 and the net stays the same size. I can see why there's a push to make an adjustment."

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