Friday, November 21, 2008

Do We Need Increased Goal Scoring?

1) Recently hockey mainstream media/blogger James Mirtle wrote an interesting piece on this very question. We'll link it so you can look at all his interesting graphics as it pertains to scoring the past 70 or so years. This led many among us to ask; Does the NHL NEED more goalscoring?

2) After the last Bettman lockout it seemed to be one of the league goals (no pun) to increase scoring. Several good and some dumb new rules were instituted to try to enhance the ability of teams to score. After some initial mild increase, mostly due to a huge increase in PP opportunities the previous decline in scoring has resumed. The dirt little secret is that even strength scoring did not significantly increase after the lockout. After 3 post-Bettman lockout seasons scoring has again started to decline. Coaches/players have evidently adjusted accordingly to the new rules. So the next question that should be asked is what to do now (if anything). Does more goal scoring equate into a better overall product? If the answer is no, then end of discussion. If the answer is even a partial yes, then that leads to a whole host of other questions. How do we increase scoring further? How is it done with maintaining the integrity/history of the game?

3) We won't get into the many possible reasons why scoring spiked in the 80's. Having 2 of the best players of all time didn't hurt (Lemieux/Gretzky), but in those days scoring 50/100 pts wasn't a Hart season like it is now. It was what was expected of a top line forward. Today the numbers touted would be closer to 30 goals/75 pts to be considered a top forward. Having games of 8-10 goals total was commonplace back then. Today those are the aberration with an average of a tad over 5 goals scored/game. So where should it be? Should it be changed, and if so, how? We at Fauxrumors believe it WOULD be a good thing to see more goal scoring. Perhaps not at the 1980's level, but certainly that wouldn't be a bad thing, but definitely more than we see today. Coupling that with fighting levels back to where they were in the 80's, and we believe we'd see a significantly measurable increase in NHL popularity. So how? Just a few ideas. We understand not all would get the job done alone, but a few together and we'd see scoring back to where it should be.

  • Here's a novel idea. Instead of making total goals as a seldom used tie breaker, make it the FIRST. So teams would not let up trying to score in games because total goals would mean something
  • Either reduce goalie equipment to 1980 levels (we are told this is possible without compromising safety) OR increase the goal size to correspond to the increased pad size. We say the 'purist' argument is bunk. If pads can increase without a cry, why cry over larger cages? We say you can't 'compensate' for additional space to shoot at.
  • Another novel/controversial idea: Perhaps try 4-4 the whole game? OT sometimes is the most exciting time of a game when scoring chances occur more often. Why? More room! Shorten the bench to 12-14 players. No more defensive scrubs.
  • Allow PP's go the full 2 minutes! No reason not to do this immediately. It was the rule before the Habs of the 1950's.
  • Allow players to 'curve' their blades all they want. Goalies/players wear more protection than the 1960's when that archaic rule was written.

4) Through nearly a quarter of the 2008-09 season it appears that scoring IS up from last season. Most put the increase at about .33 of a gaol/game. Not an insignificant increase. Also goalie save percentages are significantly lower than in previous seasons, which seems to indicate that the reductions in equipment size MAY be helping, but the thing that should NOT be lost on this increase is the fact that like the initial increase after the lockout, a majority of the 'new goals' are from special teams. Will that again slacken as the officials let up on calling everything. Then the big question is: 'What's Next'?


oilcanner said...

I was to young to remember much from the 80's, but those must have been some wild times. I don't think we need to see that many goals now but more then we see now would be better.

Antzmarching said...

I believe the league has reached a happy medium, giving absolutely NO credit to BUTTman! I say leave things the way they are for the time being...

Antzmarching said...

30-19 Antz makes his pix:

Vancouver v. Pittsburgh
New York Rag$ v. Ottawa
WINNER: RANGERS also win the Cup
Chinese Fish Sticks v. Buffalo
WINNER: LOL! SABRES, of course
Phoenix v. Philadelphia
Chicago v. Toronto
Columbus v. Atlanta
Boston v. Montreal
Anaheim v. Dallas
St. Louis v. Minnesota
Detroit v. Calgary
Colorado v. Los Angeles
Washington v. San Jose

Have a great Thanksgiving, Faux... I will be in Argentina for a few days, so I will see ya next Saturday for more pix...


1) Safe travels Antz. You will enjoy Argentina!

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