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The NHL’s 3-on-3 All-Star Game Is A Scorer’s Delight

The NHL’s annual All-Star weekend is upon us, and that means fast skaters, blistering shots, mascot hijinks and even a new trick-shot competition. For the fifth-straight year, it also means a heavy focus on the 3-on-3 format, including a women’s All-Star Game on Friday night and the four-team men’s tournament on Saturday. The NHL seldom spent any time playing at 3-on-3 before 2015-16, when the league changed its overtime rules to play the tie-breaking period with three skaters per side. But ever since, 3-on-3 hockey has become a somewhat regular fact of NHL life:

The increasing popularity of 3-on-3 makes a lot of sense. With fewer skaters on the ice to clog up the same amount of territory, offensive players have a lot more time to think and room to move — and consequently, scoring goes through the roof. According to data from the statistics site Corsica Hockey, 5.97 goals have been scored per 60 minutes of 3-on-3 hockey in the NHL this season, a whopping 140 percent increase over the scoring rate (2.49 goals per 60 minutes) of regular 5-on-5 play. It’s been bad for goalies, who not only face 6.6 more shots per 60 minutes but also find themselves allowing around twice as many goals per shot at 3-on-3 (16.1 percent) than at 5-on-5 (8.2 percent). But it’s good news for both the league, which wants more games decided before the shootout,<a class="espn-footnote-link" data-footnote-id="1" href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nhls-3-on-3-all-star-game-is-a-scorers-delight/#fn-1" data-footnote-content="

Mission accomplished: Since the 2015-16 season, 64.9 percent of games that went past regulation ended before going to a shootout, compared with 43.5 percent in the five seasons before the league switched to 3-on-3 OT.

“>1 and for those players skilled enough to best exploit the extra space on the ice.

That’s what makes 3-on-3 an especially ideal format for an All-Star Game, which is designed to assemble the best — or at least the most offensively productive — players in the sport. And indeed, the most prolific 3-on-3 scorer of the past three seasons, Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, will be representing the Pacific Division this weekend. But the best offensive threats in “normal” hockey aren’t always the top 3-on-3 players. For every current All-Star with at least 3,000 minutes at 5-on-5 and 25 minutes at 3-on-3 since the 2017-18 season, I mapped out their Goals Created (GC) per 60 minutes in each situation, looking for the players whose production increased (or decreased) the most with three skaters on each side.

On the high side, Draisaitl has been one of the biggest gainers at 3-on-3, elevating his Goals Created per 60 minutes by 2.91 at 3-on-3. That change ranked fifth among All-Stars, behind St. Louis’s David Perron (+3.89), Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele (+3.80), Dallas’s Tyler Seguin (+3.35) and Calgary superpest Matthew Tkachuk (+3.16), just ahead of Columbus defenseman Seth Jones (+2.82). Most of those guys are at least solid offensive producers overall — Draisaitl has actually been historic this season — but Jones is a great outlier toward the left side of the chart. More of an all-around blueliner than a pure offensive defenseman, Jones doesn’t score very many points at 5-on-5. At 3-on-3, however, he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 62.4 minutes of play, an especially huge scoring rate coming from the back line. (No other All-Star defenseman has created more than 2 goals per 60 at 3-on-3 over the past three years.)

Meanwhile, there are some stars who do surprisingly little damage at 3-on-3, despite the extra chance for creativity. Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak currently leads the NHL in goals with 37 markers in just 51 games so far this season, one of the best goals-per-game rates in recent history. By any measure, Pastrnak is an elite offensive talent, but he has produced only 2 points (and zero goals) in 50.3 minutes of 3-on-3 action over the past three seasons — good for a Goals Created rate 0.40 per 60 minutes lower than during 5-on-5 play. The only All-Star whose production dropped off more at 3-on-3 was Minnesota’s Eric Staal (-0.84), who didn’t score a single point at 3-on-3 in 33.5 minutes. Pastrnak, Staal and Chris Kreider of the Rangers (-0.26) were the only three All-Stars whose stats somehow got worse at 3-on-3 than at 5-on-5. That’s not supposed to happen to players with All-Star skills, although it’s also a testament to the fact that anything can happen in small samples and weird man-strength situations.

And then there are the goalies, who were already tasked with an impossible job under pre-2016 All-Star conditions, when per-game scoring increased by 236 percent compared with the regular season. Then things got even worse between the pipes when the 3-on-3 format was adopted. So no All-Star netminder has had a better save percentage at 3-on-3 than at 5-on-5 — though some dropped off less than others.

Which All-Star goalies hold up the best at 3-on-3?

Among 2020 NHL All-Star goaltenders, smallest drop-off in save percentage from 5-on-5 to 3-on-3 since the 2017-18 season

5-on-5 3-on-3
Goalie Team Minutes SV% Minutes SV% SV% Diff.
Tristan Jarry Metropolitan 2380.9 0.921 30.0 0.882 -0.039
Connor Hellebuyck Central 7943.8 0.925 89.3 0.885 -0.040
Frederik Andersen Atlantic 7877.4 0.925 92.4 0.883 -0.041
Jacob Markstrom Pacific 7086.5 0.922 118.9 0.880 -0.042
Andrei Vasilevskiy Atlantic 7151.5 0.930 86.4 0.872 -0.057
David Rittich Pacific 4313.8 0.923 72.8 0.854 -0.069
Jordan Binnington Central 3178.3 0.930 40.5 0.850 -0.080
Braden Holtby Metropolitan 6508.1 0.917 76.2 0.778 -0.139

Excludes injured goaltenders who were replaced before final All-Star rosters were set.

Source: Corsica Hockey

Tristan Jarry, who is having a breakout season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, checks in at No. 1, though he has faced a paltry 17 shots at 3-on-3. (For a little context, it generally takes 3,000 shots for a goalie’s long-term performance to stabilize, so we’re dealing with absolutely microscopic samples here.) As alternative options atop the leaderboard, Connor Hellebuyck of the Jets and Toronto’s Frederik Andersen have stared down more attempts at 3-on-3 and stopped almost as many of them relative to their 5-on-5 numbers. But Washington’s Braden Holtby is a huge outlier in the opposite direction. Usually one of the top netminders in the game (although he has struggled this season), Holtby has let in a wretched 22.2 percent of opposing shots during 3-on-3 play, easily making him the worst All-Star goalie in those situations.

The Central Division team, led by Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and backstopped by Hellebuyck, probably has the best on-paper combination of offensive talent, goaltending and collective 3-on-3 track record. But whoever wins the All-Star tournament, fans are in store for a lot of fast-paced, high-scoring action — thanks in large part to the fundamental nature of the 3-on-3 format. (Sorry, goalies.)

Yolo County’s registrar of voters aims to increase turnout among young adults

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“That right there is a crisis in our democracy,” according to Jesse Salinas, the county’s assessor/clerk-recorder/registrar of voters. “It is so important that … Google RSS Source

Republicans Advance Kentucky Voter ID Bill With Changes

The sponsors of a Kentucky voter ID bill have made changes to the proposal, no longer strictly requiring a photo ID in order to cast a ballot in elections.

The bill originally required voters to show a photo ID or else cast a provisional ballot that would require the voter to follow up at their circuit clerk’s office.

Now voters who have some non-photo forms of ID would be able to cast a ballot as long as they say they have a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID.

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who supports the proposal, said that the photo ID bill is necessary because of Kentucky’s high-profile U.S. Senate race this year.

“I think if there are going to be hijinks in our elections, this is going to be the year,” Adams said.

“We’ve got competitive elections, we’ve got high priority elections, we are a national center I think for interest of anyone wanting to do harm to our elections. To me, it would be choking to not have it in place in 2020.”

The bill passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday and can now be voted on by the full Senate.

Adams said he didn’t have any proof that in-person voter fraud was a problem in Kentucky, but argued that the proposal would boost voter confidence in an era when citizens are worried about election security.

Under the new version of the bill, Kentuckians who have a credit card, debit card or social security card would be able to cast a ballot as long as they check a box saying they have a “reasonable impediment.”

The reasonable impediment list includes lack of transportation, inability to afford a copy of a birth certificate or other documents, work schedule, lost or stolen ID, disability or illness, family responsibilities and religious objection to being photographed.

The bill would also allow voters to use expired photo IDs to prove their identities.

The measure is opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. ACLU legal director Corey Shapiro said that the proposal would create a complicated scheme that the state would have to rush to implement.

“Mandating photo ID will only exacerbate the difficulties Kentuckians already face when voting, particularly the disabled, minorities, the elderly and hourly workers,” Shapiro said.

If it passes, the bill would go into effect for this year’s general election in November, when Kentuckians will weigh in on contests for Mitch McConnell’s senate seat, the presidency, congress and most seats in the state legislature.

Adams said that he would conduct a public awareness campaign ahead of the roll out and suggested that the legislature should fund it.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat from Louisville, said that the state doesn’t have a problem with in-person voter fraud and that Adams’ proposal is unnecessary.

“If you want fewer people to do something, you make it harder. I think this bill is putting up road blocks in front of people to keep that will prevent them from voting,” McGarvey said.

Kentucky voters can currently prove their identities using several means, including a social security card, credit card or even if they are known by an election official.

The proposal would also allow eligible voters to get a free photo ID if they can prove they have a financial hardship.

Voters who don’t have any form of ID on Election Day would be able to cast a provisional ballot and then verify their identity in person at the circuit clerk later in the week.

Republicans Advance Kentucky Voter ID Bill With Changes

Trump Impeachment Trial Recap: Republicans Balk At McConnell Over Session Rules

Action in President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday was about laying the ground rules for the coming weeks — and it brought a reminder that even this highly scripted ordeal may include a few surprises after all.

Senators did not agree to the first draft of rules proposed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., notwithstanding his party’s control of the chamber and his reputation as a savvy counter of votes.

He had repeatedly insisted that the rules for the trial would be modeled on those for the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

McConnell also said confidently last week that all the members of the GOP conference backed his approach to have the prosecution and defense lay out their arguments and address written questions before turning to the issue of whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

When members of his own conference reviewed the details of his resolution, McConnell was forced to do something he doesn’t have to do often — change his plan under pressure from fellow Republicans.

His draft resolution stated that each side would present its case in up to 24 hours over two days. His last-minute revision expanded that timing to three days. He also allowed evidence from the House to be automatically entered into the record unless there were an objection.

But while McConnell may have been forced to revise his plans for the overall structure for the trial rules, he was able to stave off multiple attempts by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., later in the day on Tuesday. Republicans voted down multiple amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department and other administration officials. They stuck with McConnell’s argument that the issue about witnesses and documents would be addressed after both sides made their case for and against impeachment.

Collins leads rebels in balking at rules

McConnell is frequently lauded for his political acumen and ability to see around legislative corners. He held firm as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanded he set up a “fair trial” before she sent over the articles of impeachment. He prevailed — she was unable to extract any commitments.

The majority leader also ignored predictable calls from Democrats such as Schumer to allow more than two days for the impeachment managers to make their case.

But he couldn’t ignore Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who was among a group of Senate Republicans who insisted that the time be extended.

“Senator Collins and others raised concerns about the 24 hours of opening statements in 2 days and the admission of the House transcript in the record,” her office said in a statement. “Her position has been that the trial should follow the [Bill] Clinton model as much as possible. She thinks these changes are a significant improvement.”

The fate of McConnell’s initial proposed rules represented a very rare defeat at the hands of his own allies and underscored the desire, at least by Collins and a few others, for the Senate not to appear as a partisan rubber stamp.

Dems, White House spar over witnesses

On that point, at least, Collins and the other rebels broadly agreed with the case made by House impeachment managers about a number of amendments to McConnell’s rules.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead manager, urged senators to adopt a number of amendments offered by Schumer that would have admitted witnesses and documents into the proceedings.

Trump’s fate in this phase of impeachment — whether he’s convicted or acquitted — will have greater value if Americans believe that the president truly underwent a full and fair trial, Schiff said.

And that means, he argued, that the Senate must bring in former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and others who Schiff said would shed more light on the underlying events of the Ukraine affair.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone urged senators to reject Schumer’s amendments, and he repeated Republicans’ long-standing criticisms of the impeachment case generally and Schiff in particular.

“It’s outrageous!” Cipollone said.

Schiff and his compatriots, including Democrats Zoe Lofgren of California and Val Demings of Florida, made what were effectively opening arguments against Trump, structured around the evidence they said should be brought into the matter.

Demings, for example, detailed the material in the possession of the State Department that she said would strengthen Democrats’ case that Trump had abused his power or conditioned his policy toward Ukraine last year on the expectation that its leaders would launch investigations that Trump thought would help him politically.

Debate was expected to continue late into the night on Tuesday as Schumer continued to offer amendments seeking testimony or material for the trial — and McConnell and Republicans were expected to continue to bat them down.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Trump Impeachment Trial Recap: Republicans Balk At McConnell Over Session Rules

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