3-on-3 Overtime: Why it Will Help the Avalanche

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Colorado Avalanche 3-on-3 Overtime Units

Jan 2, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Daniel Briere (48) celebrates with center Matt Duchene (9) after scoring a goal during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The 3-on-3 overtime lineup can be broken down into one full-on offensive forward, one skilled forward with defensive skill and one two-way defenseman. Here’s why it will help the Colorado Avalanche so much. Well, they have some perfect players for the situations described above.

In Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche has two elite 3-on-3 overtime forwards, before they have even played it for the first time. They are the two fastest players on the team, probably the most skilled, and they know how to bury the puck in the net. Trust me, you don’t want to be this guy:

Next up are skilled forwards that are highly responsible defensively. Honestly, just pick two of Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. You can’t really go wrong with any of them. All three are some of the team’s best scorers, while having great defensive hockey sense.

Player No. 3, a strong two-way defenseman. This is where it gets a little bit tricky, but certainly not impossible. Defenseman No. 1 is Erik Johnson — in 5-on-5 and basically anywhere else.

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Behind that, we have Tyson Barrie, one of the league’s best offensive defensemen. He could easily function as another forward in 3-on-3 overtime, but he can be shaky defensively. Francois Beauchemin is the other alternative, but his offensive skill is questionable.

If he proves to be ready for a bigger role in the NHL, Nikita Zadorov could quickly turn into a great D-option in 3-on-3 overtime. For now, however, it should be on Johnson and Barrie.

The result could be the following lines:

3-on-3 unit 1

MacKinnon — Landeskog

3-on-3 unit 2

Duchene — Iginla

Is that the best in the league? Probably not, but it can very well be up there. The Colorado Avalanche have the perfect combination of players for the NHL’s new 3-0n-3 overtime. Instead of losing games in shootouts, the Avs may earn many extra points this way.

Who would you put on the Avs’ 3-on-3 overtime units? Let us know in the comments!

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