Sergei Fedorov Pulled His Goalie In 3-on-3 Overtime, But It’s Likely We Won’t See Much Of The Strategy In The NHL

Photo: CKSA

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) kicked-off their 2022-23 season last week. One of the first games on the league’s slate of games featured CSKA Moscow, coached by former Washington Capitals forward Sergei Fedorov, hosting Neftekhimikat at the CSKA arena in Moscow.

Regulation ended with the game tied 4-4, sending the game to 3-on-3 overtime. This was the first overtime period of the new KHL season. CSKA would gain possession of the opening faceoff, immediately pull their goaltender and score on the first possession.

Pulling the goaltender worked…this time.

Fedorov said there was no pre-planning of the strategy, and that he made the decision to pull the goalie as the play unfolded.

“The decision came after we successfully changed, took over the puck. I already knew that the goalkeeper would stay on the bench,” said Fedorov in an interview with the CSKA website.

So, the question remains, will we ever see this strategy deployed in the NHL?

It wouldn’t be a good move in the NHL, at least in most situations. In the KHL, once a game reaches overtime, the loser of the game automatically receives one point, regardless if the goalie is pulled or not. In the NHL, if a team pulls their goalie in overtime and they end up giving up the winning goal, they don’t receive the “loser” point. That’s a major deterrent.

However, there could be circumstances in the season when a victory and two points is essential, possibly down the stretch, in hopes of earning a playoff spot. That could open the door for the more adventurous coaches to consider pulling the goalie.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Sergei Fedorov Pulled His Goalie In 3-on-3 Overtime, But It’s Likely We Won’t See Much Of The Strategy In The NHL

  1. novafyre says:

    Certainly different. A national site has an article advocating pond rules for 3on3 OT — no offsides. I think he would also like to see OT extended to the 7 minutes the AHL uses. He doesn’t want shootouts. I like the idea. OT has become one setup play after another and it can be boring.

    Personally, I would like to see points change. No points for the loser. Period. No matter when lost. Then the winner would get 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, and 1 for a shootout win. You want more points, win faster. You want points at all, don’t lose.

    • Ron says:

      I don’t think I’d like the pond hockey approach. It’s already a gimmick. The AHL doesn’t use 7 minutes, it also uses 5. For me, and wouldn’t be popular, would be going back to 4 on 4 and going for 10 minutes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s a bullshit rule by NHL. Why thwart ballsy coaching?

    • steven says:

      Because to many owners adn GM are willing to give up 2 points if they still get 1 point….like you said lack balls! Need to ahve big ones and put all points on the line win get 2 lose in any fashion get 0! Why should you get a point just because you did not win in regulation? If you want a point so bad then just go back to having a tie!

  3. PTS Terbaik says:

    how lucky the Continental Hockey League (KHL) was coached by former Washington Capitals forward Sergei Fedorov. what about the next match strategy?

  4. BJ Uzan says:

    What happens in the NHL overtime if you pull your goaltender on a delayed penalty and score on your own net? Do you still get the loser point?

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