Ducks bore Oilers to death with curious OT strategy

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/edm" data-ylk="slk:Edmonton Oilers">Edmonton Oilers</a> center <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/6743/" data-ylk="slk:Connor McDavid">Connor McDavid</a>, left, controls the puck with <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/ana" data-ylk="slk:Anaheim Ducks">Anaheim Ducks</a> defenseman <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/4972/" data-ylk="slk:Cam Fowler">Cam Fowler</a> defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, left, controls the puck with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

One thing that NHL fans have come to love and appreciate is 3-on-3 hockey in overtime. The open-ice format has provided some of the most entertaining five minutes in hockey, but this was certainly not the case Sunday night when the Oilers and Ducks went into OT.


That might just be some of the ugliest hockey of 2018.

Although tough to bear, possession fanatics around the world must have been applauding the Ducks for the clever tactic. If the Oilers never touch the puck, they simply cannot score. It seems Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle may have been appeasing the advanced analytics community with this boring strategy.

But there might be another factor at play. Connor McDavid was asked after the game if the Ducks may have been trying to hold on to the puck until the Oilers captain got off the ice.


McDavid was on the ice when the Ducks eventually started skating and Hampus Lindholm scored the game-winning goal, but perhaps they simply grew tired of waiting for McDavid to leave the ice. Regardless, that was downright ugly.

There is winning by any means, and then there is being just plain cruel.

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