Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scoring down again in the NHL this season

...but what's the answer?
The league was averaging 5.5 total goals per game through Monday night (not counting shootout tiebreakers), down from 5.9 through the same number of games last season and markedly down from 6.2 at the same point in the first season coming out of the lockout when a number of rule changes opened up the game.

That's 100 fewer goals from last season through 251 total games and 175 fewer goals from 2005-06 at the same point.

Is the league alarmed?

"Not yet," commissioner Gary Bettman told The Canadian Press. "It's something we're going to keep an eye on. It's something we're going to continue to monitor. The game is still entertaining. We've had some high-scoring games, the Dallas-LA game Saturday night (6-5) is another good example. But we are keeping an eye on it."

The numbers are still up from the 5.1 total goals per game the league was averaging through the same number of games in 2003-04, but it's trending back the wrong way. [...]

So what now? Bigger nets? Even more reduced goalie equipment? Four-on-four play for the whole game?
Bigger nets and further reductions of goalie equipment sounds good to me.

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