Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Why such quick overtimes?

The numbers are staggering.

Why such quick overtimes?

Danny Briere´s game-winner trickles in against the Devils to win Game 1. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)
Danny Briere's game-winner trickles in against the Devils to win Game 1. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

The numbers are staggering.

On Sunday, the Flyers had two cracks at an overtime win within the first 4:46, when Danny Briere finally delivered a Game 1 win over the Devils.

If you feel like overtime games have been ending quickly, you’re not alone.

Through the first 53 games of this Stanley Cup playoff season, 18 have gone to overtime (33.9 percent).

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The overtime in 8 out of those 18 games (44 percent) hasn’t even made it past the three-minute mark. Fans barely have enough time to grab a beer during the intermission and get back to their seats to see the action.

The total overtime played in 18 games is 91:15, making the average overtime length just over 5 minutes at 5:04. Just three games have gone to a double overtime this playoff.

The Flyers, who are 2-0 in overtime this spring, have played an average of 3:29 in overtime. Jake Voracek delivered the game-winner in Game 1 against Pittsburgh at 2:23. Briere scored at 4:46 on Sunday.

If Briere’s first goal, with the distinct kicking motion, hadn’t been disallowed at the 2:13 mark, the Flyers’ average overtime minutes played would have dropped to 2:17.

Voracek chalked up the increased scoring chances to the fresh ice that comes with playoff overtime hockey. Eric Wellwood said he believes teams put an emphasis on early pressure. Hockey purists say the quick goals are a product of the open style game since the 2005 lockout.

“I think teams push and push to try and get that early goal,” James van Riemsdyk said. “Once you get to that five-minute point, though, I think everyone starts to settle in for a long night.”

Pick up Tuesday’s Daily News for more, with the yearly trends before and after the lockout and more player reaction.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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