Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/02/12 at 05:08 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So this is the new NHL. Huh. Not exactly as advertised. It is Year 7 now since the lockout ended, which was supposed to usher in a new era, featuring more offence, more attack, and more of the stuff that lifts fans out of their seats. So what happens? Goal-scoring, in that seven-year span, on a per-game average, is slip-sliding away. From a high of 6.1 in 2005-06, it dropped to 5.8 the next year, and then had seasons averaging 5.4, 5.7, 5.5, 5.5 again - and this year, the league is on pace for a new low, 5.3.
Part of the reason is power-play chances are down, also at a seven-year low (6.9 compared to the over-refereed call-crazy 11.7 in the first post-lockout year). But mostly, the NHL isn’t about offence, except when you get a crazy 7-0 Winnipeg win over Florida (those Jets periodically come up with some quirky entertaining doozies).
But on Thursday night, in a matchup of the league’s two top teams, St. Louis and Vancouver, it was 0-0 until five minutes into the third period when Alex Burrows scored against Elliott in a game that finished 2-0 with an empty-netter from Chris Higgins. St. Louis-Vancouver is a possible playoff match-up and though the compete level of the game was high, the idea that every game is going to be this close-to-the-vest style. Maybe time for a second Shanahan Summit. Something’s gotta change.
read on for a look at Erik Karlsson among other hockey topics…
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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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