Penguins notebook: Crosby favors tweaks in overtime, shootout

PENGUINS NOTEBOOK


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The format for overtime and shootouts came up -- again -- at a general manager's meeting Tuesday in Toronto. Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby weighed in Wednesday.

Shootouts were instituted at the same time he entered the NHL, 2005-06, but he sounded a bit lukewarm about them in his ninth season.

"They're OK," Crosby said before the game against Philadelphia at Consol Energy Center.

"I think for the fans they're exciting."

Crosby would like to see "some type of ... incentive for winning a game in regulation."

One thing he has long advocated is three-on-three play in overtime.

Currently, teams play four-on-four in overtime. Crosby also supported each game being worth three points, with the winner in regulation getting all three.

As it stands, a win is worth two points whether it's in regulation, overtime or a shootout, and a loss in overtime or a shootout is worth a point.

The general managers, spurred by Detroit's Ken Holland, looked at adding a three-on-three overtime if there are no goals in the four-on-four overtime.

"I've been a big fan of that," Crosby said. "I've said that many times -- if there's one thing I could add, it would be three-on-three [in overtime]. I'd be all for that.

"I think it forces coaches to make a decision, one we can all see. When it's four-on-four, you're going two [defensemen], two forwards. I think [with three-on-three] you're going to really see who wants to win a game, and who doesn't, who's satisfied with going to a shootout.

"I think that puts more pressure on teams that try to go to the shootout because it's obvious that they're doing that [by using two defensemen and one forward].

"It's exciting. You're going to get chances. It doesn't matter if you do put two [defensemen] out there with one forward. You're going to get chances when it's three-on-three. There's a lot of open ice."

The general managers could revisit the overtime/shootout format at their next meeting in March.

Orpik salutes Nolan's return

Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik grew up in Buffalo and was a young fan of the Sabres when Ted Nolan left as coach after the 1996-97 season.

More than 16 years later, Nolan has been brought back as Buffalo coach. Orpik sees some justice there.

"He got unfairly run out of there by a few people," Orpik said of 1997, when Nolan was named NHL coach of the year but balked at being offered just a one-year contract to stay.

"I think the fans there will be ecstatic to get him back. It's a great market for hockey."

Nolan's only other NHL head coaching stint was two seasons with the New York Islanders in the 2000s.

"I know a lot of people thought he was blackballed for certain reasons," Orpik said. "I know most of the players loved him when he was in Buffalo."

Tip-ins

Penguins defenseman Paul Martin missed his second game in a row because of an undisclosed injury. He skated before the team's morning skate. ... Penguins rookie defenseman Olli Maatta, who missed practice Tuesday to attend to an immigration matter, said everything was taken care of and he is cleared to remain with the Penguins the rest of the season should they choose to keep him. ... Coach Dan Bylsma said defenseman Rob Scuderi is only doing "minimal" rehabilitation two weeks after surgery for a broken ankle and that his original timetable of six to eight weeks has not been revised. ... As part of a tribute to military veterans, the Penguins wore camouflage jerseys for their game-day skate and pregame warmups. Those are being auctioned to benefit military causes. Several veterans visited the locker room after the game-day skate. ... The Penguins are selling tickets for their Stadium Series outdoors game against the Chicago Blackhawks March 1 at Soldier Field. The ticket prices range from $99-$325. Call 412-642-7367.

Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.


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