During a conference with media hacks the other day, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock reiterated one of his longstanding suggestions: increase the size of the net in order to get some more scoring happening.
The NHL per-game goal tally over the last five seasons is 5.48 — so far this year, that’s down to 5.38. During the 1981-1982 season, it was 8.02.
Quoth Mr. Babcock: “It’s impossible to score. All you gotta do is a math equation. You go to 1980 when the puck went in the net. You got the average size of the goalies in the NHL and the average size of the net. You keep growing the net bigger, that would make the game the same … The net’s too small for the size of the goalies. Period. The goalies are too good for the size of the net.”
Upping the net size doesn’t appear to be on the NHL’s to-do list in the foreseeable future. Assuming you feel that more goals would be good, and assuming you agree that goalies are now taking up too much net real estate, perhaps we could just train jockeys to also be goalies.
Love, Dr. Scott James