I posted what is sort of a part 1 for this blog yesterday. You can find that HERE.

If you have not already read it, it is a good starting point before reading this blog.

The short version of that Carolina Hurricanes blog is:

1) I think 3-on-3 hockey could have a bigger impact than stats might suggest during early phase when some teams get it and others do not.

2) I think Canes should actually start working on it now in the informal skates. Training camp is so short at 18 days with so much else to do, why not get a head start on it especially at this stage where they are playing some 3-on-3 anyway?

After posting my initial blog for Monday, multiple people asked me who I thought would be good candidates to play 3-on-3 for the Canes.

First, I think it is important to think about a few unique characteristics of 3-on-3 hockey:

1) There will be a ton of open ice which favors players who can skate and carry the puck. It also favors skilled players who can pass because it should be much easier to move the puck from stick to stick and play a possession game.

2) I think defense will require the ability to defend well 1-on-1. There just are not enough bodies to trap or play too much system type stuff. If 2 defenders try to trap or seal off the puck, that leaves to offensive players against 1 defender which seems like a no-go.

3)  think players who can read situations and make correct decisions get a huge leg up. I guess we will see in a month or so, but I do not think it will be as cut and dry as defenseman and forwards. Roles will be much more situational.

I think the Canes personnel are well-suited for 3-on-3 hockey. I think the game will favor defensemen who can skate and carry the puck. It will be hard to slow a skating defenseman with a head of steam. And at forward, I think the Canes have enough skill as well.

If I had to guess without seeing it on the ice, I think on defense, all of Ryan Murphy, James Wisniewski, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin if he is ready could excel in this open game that favors skaters.

At forward, I think you could see a mix of the skilled forwards like Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm but a player like Riley Nash who has great straight line speed could also fit 3-on-3 hockey.

Regardless of how it all shakes out, I am excited to see 3-on-3 hockey and also hoping that fewer games are decided by the dreaded shootout because of it.

Go Canes!

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