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The Loop

Yes, this is a real screenshot from a real hockey game (SPOILER ALERT: the Blues scored)

November 06, 2019

The implementation of 3-on-3 overtime in the regular season was one of the better decisions the NHL has ever made. For the most part, 3-on-3 does exactly what it was supposed to do: limit the number of shootouts and let the games be decided by actually playing hockey rather than a series of penalty shots. The ice is wide open, the action is fast and furious and games often end with goals scored on 2-on-1s, which are some of the most exciting sequences in hockey.

For all of 3-on-3s great qualities, though, it can get a bit whacky at times. The perfect example of this came on Tuesday night in Vancouver, where the Canucks and the Blues remained tied 1-1 after three minutes of 3-on-3 OT. With 1:44 to go, Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers got a great pass from Bo Horvat and fired one toward the net but missed wide. Seconds later, he collided with the third Canuck on the ice, J.T. Millert, causing them both to go down. In this process they also slowed down Horvat behind the Blues net.

Meanwhile, the puck had squirted free and all three Blues on the ice—Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo—went after it and ended up on a 3-on-0 breakaway. You're not going to believe this but they scored with ease:

Schwartz, who scored the game-winner, said he had never seen anything quite like in his career. "I'm not even sure what happened, I heard they might have all tripped over each other, but I was a little surprised, just like we all were. We had a 3-on-0 basically from our own end, which you don't see too often."

I don't think I'd ever seen a 3-on-0 before this one, though a quick Google search revealed that it happened to the Dallas Stars in 2017 and they didn't score!

This one wasn't as easy as the Blues' breakaway, but it still should have been buried. Good job by the Blues to not become a punchline on their 3-on-0: