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Jets' Byfuglien thinks 3-on-3 overtime is stupid

Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Byfuglien isn't a fan of the NHL's new overtime format.

The Winnipeg Jets defenseman participated in his first regular-season 3-on-3 overtime period in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, and didn't keep his feelings about the open ice to himself.

"It's terrible. It's a terrible part of hockey. It's not hockey," Byfuglien said Saturday, according to Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press. "It ain't hockey. It’s 'just let the kids play.' It's stupid. Just keep it 4-on-4, 5-on-5. Let's just play hockey."

Byfuglien's opinion notwithstanding, the NHL's decision to shift from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 overtime in order to curb the amount of games decided by a shootout - a format decidedly less hockey-like than what's seen in overtime - appears to be paying off.

Perhaps, as Jets center Bryan Little suggests, it just takes a little getting used to, and is all a matter of perspective.

"It's just trying to get used to it at this level and trying to play it .... (But) I'd rather see it settled in 5-on-5 like a normal game but you can't be playing an extra 5-on-5 for 10 or 20 minutes," Little said. "You've got to cap it some time."

The Jets lost 13 games in overtime last season, and, as Little suggests, they may grow fonder of the new format should the bounces start to go their way.

"It's a tough way to lose but the shootout is an even worse way to lose. I'm not a fan of it today but maybe when we get a couple of wins I'll like it a little more."

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