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More Goals Needed

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

So the NHL is contemplating using their newfangled nets in pre-season games. Hey, anything that makes the game better should be welcomed with open arms.

The new nets are shallower, have a clear plastic strip along the top and built-in high definition cameras to make goal reviews easier, and has thinner mesh….

The problem is the changes the NHL are proposing do not address the real problem facing the league: a lack of goal-scoring….

The answer to more goals is quite simple and not exactly new: Make the damn nets bigger.

Now before you start spewing your hate mail about how some things are never meant to be tinkered with, consider that just about everything that has to do with hockey—including the equipment, markings on the ice and training techniques—have been altered over the years so why are the nets off limits? Players are bigger than ever and yet the nets remain the same size. It makes no sense.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Guy Legend's avatar

I agree completely with this.  All the talk about scoring having gone down in the modern era…the most simple and direct answer as to the decrease is the lack of available space to shoot.  Goalie equipment got bigger to facilitate safety.  Players themselves have gotten bigger.  The nets should be made larger - a very modest increase as to negotiate for the bigger goalies compared to years past.

Posted by Guy Legend on 08/19/11 at 03:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

I would rather see them restrict the goalies equipment first. But I don’t have any problem increasing the size of the net.

First though, I’d like to go to olympic sized rinks. Way more entertaining and a much better showcase for skill.

Posted by awould on 08/19/11 at 03:54 PM ET

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i have seen it mentioned before and wonder now ... why not make the nets shallower?  Is there a reason they need to fit an entire player in them depth-wise?  This would open up more room behind the net and leave the actual size width alone.  This would increase the amount of ice area in the scoring zone as well.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 08/19/11 at 03:59 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I agree, make the nets bigger and the ice surface as well.
It’s the only 2 things in the NHL that hasn’t gotten bigger.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/19/11 at 04:07 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I agree completely with this.  All the talk about scoring having gone down in the modern era…the most simple and direct answer as to the decrease is the lack of available space to shoot.  Goalie equipment got bigger to facilitate safety.  Players themselves have gotten bigger.  The nets should be made larger - a very modest increase as to negotiate for the bigger goalies compared to years past.

Uh-oh! You realize you’ll be shot, burned and forced to watch Kathy Griffin shows for your blasphemy right?
Don’t you know that scoring chances are what matters?
And didn’t you know that all 1-0 games are nail biters featuring tonnes of exciting end-to-end action, endless scoring chances and incredible saves?
And didn’t you know that the hockey we see today is exactly as it was 80 years ago? The game hasn’t changed ONE bit so why would we do that now?

Your logic of bigger equipment and bigger players equates to less scoring realestate is stupid and dumb. That sounds like witchcraft talk to me!

In all seriousness, I couldn’t agree more.
Simply adding 2” more in height and width is more than enough. How many posts do we see get hit in a night? I’ve read that it averages around 3.
That could equate to 2+ more goals a game. Nothing wrong with that.

I want more goals too - especially more even-strength clean goals.

But don’t expect the hockey zealots to agree with this.
The Kool-aid is tasty and millions are enjoying it.
You will ripped and burned to shreds for suggesting goals equals fun and entertainment.

What bothers me is that when the NHL announced the new standards of the rules coming out of the lockout so many people got their arms up in the air.
Ron MacLean still hates how things are being called, but you’d be a moron to not see how much better the game looks today than in ‘03.

But Brophy is right in that the refs are allowing more and more obstruction every year and pretty soon we’ll be down to 4.5 goals a game, only 1 40-goal scorer and 85 points will earn you the Art Ross.
But who cares right? As long as we average 12 scoring chances a night and 33420 blocked shots, the game will be AWESOME!!!

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/19/11 at 05:13 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Scoring chances are what matters, not goals. Goaltending is part of the game too. It doesn’t mean I want to go back to the dead-puck era. But a 1-0 or 2-1 game with scoring chances and great goaltending can be fun to watch. Not every game has to be 5-4 or 6-5.

Posted by cs6687 on 08/19/11 at 05:25 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I say increase the size of the nets for no other reason than to guarantee that no goalie in the history of the NHL will ever have stats that match up to Chris Osgood’s.

cheese

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/19/11 at 05:28 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

But a 1-0 or 2-1 game with scoring chances and great goaltending can be fun to watch.

The problem is those games are few and far between too.

The 8-6 Philly-TB game this past season was awesome. Everyone was talking about it. Even ESPN had something to say.

Most low scoring games are devoid of entertainment. People seem to think that every 2-1 game is full of opportunities and highlight reel saves.
They’re not.
90% of them are dull and could put even the most diehard NHL fan to bed.

I cancelled my Centre Ice Subscription two seasons ago because the games were becoming highly boring.
I used to enjoy watching all 30 teams after the lockout. Now, only about 3 or 4 are exciting to watch.
Heck, the NHL is such a defensive league now that they turned the Capitals, at one time the most exciting modern team since the ‘84 Oilers into the New Jersey Devils.
If that doesn’t tell the NHL that more offense is needed, I don’t know what is.

I guess I’m simply tired of watching one mindless rebound, deflection, goal-mouth scramble goal after another.
It would be like watching MLB where every run was scored off a walk or bloop single. HR’s bring people out of their seats, and so do nice, clean, even-strength goals.
With bigger nets, maybe the games open up more and we see more of those kinds of goals.
NBC just signed a whopper of a TV contract for the next 10 years. Something tells me that if NBC feels the NHL needs more goals, we’ll get bigger nets.
I hope so.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/19/11 at 05:32 PM ET

Avatar

I guess I’m simply tired of watching one mindless rebound, deflection, goal-mouth scramble goal after another.
It would be like watching MLB where every run was scored off a walk or bloop single.

Yeah, those are completely comparable.

Posted by Garth on 08/19/11 at 05:45 PM ET

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As long as we average 12 scoring chances a night and 33420 blocked shots, the game will be AWESOME!!!

How about we just take the goalies out of the next?  Or make it a penalty to block a shot?  And not let the defence carry sticks?

Posted by Garth on 08/19/11 at 05:49 PM ET

awould's avatar

I will agree completely that making the net bigger just to get more goals without doing something to address the growing obstruction is not the answer to the problem.

I would like to see larger sheets of ice, which would require more skill, more open play and lead to less obstruction and more scoring chances. But if they’re not going to do that (which I’m certain they won’t), then limit the goalie equipment size and/or increase the net size. Right now, the obstruction is limiting scoring chances and the goals are further diminished by the hulking goalie in front of the tiny net.

Making the goal depth smaller is just hinting at the real solution - make the rink around it bigger.

Posted by awould on 08/19/11 at 05:57 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Let’s make the players smaller. LOL

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/19/11 at 06:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Let’s make the announcers bigger.

C’mon.  McGuire and Pang anybody?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/19/11 at 06:32 PM ET

Avatar


Let’s make the announcers bigger.

C’mon.  McGuire and Pang anybody?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/19/11 at 05:32 PM ET

More dollar hot dog nights so Murph packs on the pounds.

Posted by Thatguy from Friday Afternoon on 08/19/11 at 06:53 PM ET

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I actually believe there is no problem with obstruction whatsoever at this time. The problems with goal scoring, as I see them are

1) goalie pad sizes (which have been a problem forever), but good luck getting the union to budge on this
2) video scouting. Don’t know that anything could be done about this or enforced if it was done
3) shot blocking, and this is the biggest factor. Shot blocking no longer has much of a chance of injury because of better shin pads and these little plastic things players started putting on the skates about 3 years ago, so players do this with reckless abandon. Don’t really know what to do about this either, short of telling players they can’t wear this stuff and dealing with the fact that 200 players break their legs in year one of the new equipment standards. I mean, you could see some basement dweller, no-talent team win the cup if they get really lucky with low #s of leg breaks and your Bostons or Vancouvers don’t.

I’m also against making the nets larger, since that involves forcing every goalie to completely re-learn the position over night. You’ll notice tenders rarely, if ever look at where the goal is to get their bearings, because their angles have been the same since they were, like 8. It would be like simultaneously asking everyone on Earth to start driving on the other side of the road than the one they’re used to starting tomorrow.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/19/11 at 08:31 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

I hate this argument of more goals equals better games. If I see a score of 5-4 or 6-5 game I’m thinking that either the goalie had a bad game, the defense sucks or the game was a penalty fest. Defense is part of the game, always has been and always will be. Some of the best hockey games I’ve ever seen are low scoring games. The real problem, and nobody including me has the answer, is the way the game is managed. Everything is specialized now. Everything is taped and analyzed to death. The NFL is having the same problem IMO. Maybe the answer is coaching. These guys are so afraid of getting fired that they coach conservative and the product reflects it. Maybe you make it cost-prohibitive to fire a coach the first four or five years. Maybe then you might get more open hockey.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 08/19/11 at 08:40 PM ET

Avatar

why does every one always call for the equipment changes and nets to be bigger….I present you with the end all be all solution to it all I will ask you to refrain from commenting on my genius I know it already just make your suggestions with the nobel prize committee please do not bother me with it…....so with out further a due my plan is to draft members of the lolly pop guild to play instead of these no talent no scoring giant clumsy hack of NHL players we have today

Posted by mike on 08/20/11 at 02:19 AM 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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