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Increase Scoring? Call The Penalties

from Kerry Fraser of TSN,

The majority of penalty infractions called last night were for restraining fouls (hooking, holding, tripping, interference). Most of them however were on the puck carrier. Statistics, along with my personal observation, bears out the fact that a slippage has resulted over time, in the referees’ standard of enforcement on restraining fouls occurring away from the puck. While nobody likes to see ‘ticky-tack’ penalties called, a potential increase in goal scoring could be immediate if the referees were directed to enforce restraining fouls on the non-puck carrier to a similar degree demonstrated following the first lockout.

A faster, more exciting attack would be achieved by forcing players to move their feet as opposed to hooking and holding up their opponent. Regardless of the size of the net and goalkeeper’s equipment, increased power-play opportunities would result in an immediate and proportional increase in scoring.


added 2:06pm, from Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post,

Since the 2005-06 season, power-play opportunities have been on a rapid decline, and they’ve done so at an even greater pace than the scoring drop. During the first year after the lockout eliminated the 2004-05 season, a team received almost six power-play opportunities per game. That has since dropped to 3.24 per game, which is slightly higher than last year (3.06), but still low enough to keep the scoring rate depressed for another season.

NHL teams convert on the power play 19 percent of the time, on average, so an additional two power-play opportunities would result in 0.38 goals per team per game. That would buoy the scoring average up to 3.04 goals per team per game, a level we have seen twice in the past 20 seasons.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Alan's avatar

What a novel idea. I’ve never been a fan of the refs swallowing their whistles in favor of continued play. If someone commits a penalty, for fuch’s sake, blow the damn whistle and call the penalty. If more than one infraction occurs (say for example, someone trips someone, delayed penalty occurs, and someone trips someone else), call both penalties.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 11/11/15 at 03:22 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed Alan, plus teams/players will adjust and the game would be back to where it should be.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/11/15 at 03:23 PM ET


5 on 5 should be a default mode for all hockey. Increased number of power plays would disrupt natural flow of game. Game should pour back and forth from one side of the rink to the other one, not being stuck at the rink ends. Power play resp. penalty kill should be a rarity. The excitement from watching power play would go away if it was diluted by too many penalties.

In my opinion, we would see increase in scoring (also not a dramatic one), if we get rid of 3-points-per-overtime-game” system. “Loser point” system easily motivates teams to wait tactics and complacency with a regulation tie. That means teams rather opt for secure defense than taking risk of losing point by blunders in offense. Especially inter-conference games can easily slip in to “cartel-like” disinterest for attack. We have to get rid of WIN-WIN brotherhood between teams, sport is about competition, not a field for diplomatic alliances.

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 11/11/15 at 06:48 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

If more penalties were called for non puck carrier infractions, then teams like Calgary would be short handed the entire game. smile

Posted by bigfrog on 11/11/15 at 08:29 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

If more penalties were called for non puck carrier infractions, then teams like Calgary would be short handed the entire game. smile

Posted by bigfrog on 11/11/15 at 07:29 PM ET

So would Detroit if you believe Eddie Olczyk’s narrative.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 11/12/15 at 07:14 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

I know that I have no interest in watching 60 minutes of power play. Ideally the most PP time in a game should be in the 16-20 minute range. But that metric is not meant to enforce because it’s dictated by the teams performing the infractions. Maybe fix quit calling the ticky tack penalties that aren’t rally penalties so as to more easily call the real ones. I would like the rule book enforced, but not forced penalty calls with the intent of manipulating scoring.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 11/12/15 at 01:59 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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