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How to Increase Offense in the NHL


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#1 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:33 AM

NHL players are such great skaters that there is less and less time and space to create offense. In 81-82 the average goals/game was 8.025 but in 2011-12 it was 5.32.
The league knows this is a problem and has made some changes already.
-They now allow goals to be scored with the skates if there is no kicking motion (unless he's a Canuck).
-They changed goalie equipment and are looking at more changes to goalie pad size.
-They added the goalie trapezoid.
-Players can no longer close their hand on the puck.
-They made changes to interference rules which have helped in the regular season, but in the playoffs these rules are not strictly enforced. There needs to be rule changes that are not judgement calls which will be ignored in the playoffs.

Here are some other changes that I've heard discussed::
1. Larger nets. Larger goalies, gloves, jerseys, and pads, so why not larger nets?

2. On the hotstove tonight Healy mentioned one simple change.
He basically said that in overtime the teams should switch ends so that their benches are further away. He said more goals are scored in the second period due to the longer distance for line changes.
I think it's a great idea, in fact, I think they should play the first, third and overtime periods this way.

3. Make it easier to stay onside so that players enter the offensive zone with speed. Change the rule slightly so that instead of the puck having to completely cross the leading edge of the blueline the puck only has to make contact with the leading edge of the blueline. This will make a small, but noticeable difference.

4. Allow hand passes all over the ice instead of only in the defensive zone. They've made it more difficult for the defense this yr by emphasizing that players cannot close their hand on the puck. Allow players to do the same on offense as on defense. Much better than a faceoff everytime this happens. (Interestingly, this year the NHL has made it a penalty to use a hand pass to win a faceoff.)

5. Break the trap. The trap works by compacting the defence. All five defenders retreat to the red line (or thereabouts) and force the puck carrier to stickhandle into a double team or shoot the puck in. Here's my, admittedly radical, solution.
When there is no defensive player in the offensive team's end of the rink (marked by the blueline),.the offensive team will be allowed to shoot the puck into the offensive end without being called for offside or icing
For example, if Edler skates the puck out from behind his goal and there are no Predators in his end of the ice (marked by his blueline), then he would be allowed to shoot the puck into the Pred's end and Kesler could be waiting at Pekka Rinne's goal before the puck even crosses their blueline.

Go ahead and criticize these suggested changes, but please don't discuss whether the NHL needs more goals or not. Create your own thread about that topic if you'd like.

Edited by OrrFour, 10 March 2013 - 02:36 AM.

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#2 Tom Sestito

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:21 AM

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put puk in gol :3
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#3 Bring_Back_Bertuzzi

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

if you watch the old style of hockey it was easier to score goals because of the goalies pad size and and just the style they play like if a player had a break away the goalies would charge the player not any more thought
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#4 poetica

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

I don't understand why more goals would be needed. I think most hockey fans also enjoy the pretty passing and nice defensive plays, not just the scoring. Why change it to put an even heavier emphasis on one aspect of the game to the detriment of the others?

[Edit: I obviously misunderstood the OP in my morning fog. Switch sides, rather than benches, makes way more sense and is actually a good idea...]
As for the switching the benches idea, don't most arenas have access to the dressing rooms directly behind the benches, meaning teams would have to cross paths yet again after the game to get to their dressing room? That seems like you'd just be asking for trouble in heated games, not to mention a long boring wait for fans while teams packed up their stuff (bottles, towels, extra sticks, etc.) to move from one bench to the other. It'd be easier and quicker to just clean the ice and have the goalies switch sides again.

Edited by poetica, 10 March 2013 - 02:44 PM.

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#5 TimberWolf

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:51 AM

Larger nets would just mean more crappy goals would go in. There is such a thing as an exciting 1-1 game when there is a goalie duel.

It's the obstruction that makes trapping work that kills the flow. Police that and the offence will follow.
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#6 ChuckNORRIS4Cup

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:42 PM

I've been saying it for years that they need to make the ice surface bigger, go to olympic size rinks. There is a lot of upside to it, not going to get into all the details, but for some, more room and time with the puck to make better decisions, more time to react to a player coming to hit you to cut down on injuries. More open ice just can create so much more offense, the possibly of more breakaways like it was back in the 80's and 90's. Everyone enjoys watching 4 on 4 hockey because there's so much more open ice, and you get to see more scoring chances, that's what it would be like 5 on 5 all the time.

Anyways it's just the hit it will take to build, and it would cost the NHL some money not like they don't have enough, but this is why they make all these other little changes. They don't want to pay to make all the rinks bigger, even though it's the right thing to do, they don't want to spend money, rather see players get hurt and suspend players to make even more money. I've been saying it for years, this league needs to go to olympic size rinks, to make the game more safer and exciting.
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#7 How the west was won

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

I don't understand why more goals would be needed. I think most hockey fans also enjoy the pretty passing and nice defensive plays, not just the scoring. Why change it to put an even heavier emphasis on one aspect of the game to the detriment of the others?

As for the switching the benches idea, don't most arenas have access to the dressing rooms directly behind the benches, meaning teams would have to cross paths yet again after the game to get to their dressing room? That seems like you'd just be asking for trouble in heated games, not to mention a long boring wait for fans while teams packed up their stuff (bottles, towels, extra sticks, etc.) to move from one bench to the other. It'd be easier and quicker to just clean the ice and have the goalies switch sides again.


It's not changing benches, its facing off on the other side of the ice. So you have the home team on the north bench and the away team on the south bench, instead of the home team defending the north end of the ice, scoring on the south end of the ice like it would be for the 1st, 3rd, and overtime periods, just have this setup for the 2nd period. This way there are 2, potentially 3, periods with the long change.

I like this idea.

The icing one is also interesting. But of course off-sides would still be in effect. So if there is no player in the defenders zone he can ice the puck without penalty of face-off.

I would also like to see the size of goalies gear reduced a little. Pads are thin enough I believe but they are still very tall, this is so when goalies go into the butterfly their 5-hole is covered without needing their stick on the ice, this then allows the goalie to either use his stick or blocker without taking away from ice coverage. Take away some extra height from above the knees and goalies are forced to keep the blockers lower by keeping their sticks on the ice, or leaving the 5-hole more vulnerable.
Chest gear is also huge and possibly too big, but I think that is mostly for safety reasons to protect the goalie because of the shot speed, but some modifications should be made. Such as reducing the size of the shoulder and arm areas.
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#8 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:36 PM

@How_the_west_was_won
5. To break the trap the offensive player would be allowed to ice the puck and his teammates would be allowed to be offside.
So the trapping team is hampered by an opponent (Edler) that can shoot the puck to the end of the rink and his teammate (Kesler) would be able to skate to the end of the rink without being called for offside.
This would stretch the defense and severely weaken the trap.
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#9 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:38 PM

I've been saying it for years that they need to make the ice surface bigger, go to olympic size rinks. There is a lot of upside to it, not going to get into all the details, but for some, more room and time with the puck to make better decisions, more time to react to a player coming to hit you to cut down on injuries. More open ice just can create so much more offense, the possibly of more breakaways like it was back in the 80's and 90's. Everyone enjoys watching 4 on 4 hockey because there's so much more open ice, and you get to see more scoring chances, that's what it would be like 5 on 5 all the time.

Anyways it's just the hit it will take to build, and it would cost the NHL some money not like they don't have enough, but this is why they make all these other little changes. They don't want to pay to make all the rinks bigger, even though it's the right thing to do, they don't want to spend money, rather see players get hurt and suspend players to make even more money. I've been saying it for years, this league needs to go to olympic size rinks, to make the game more safer and exciting.

They trap in europe too. They're not scoring either.
The trap is the problem.
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#10 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:40 PM

Larger nets would just mean more crappy goals would go in. There is such a thing as an exciting 1-1 game when there is a goalie duel.

It's the obstruction that makes trapping work that kills the flow. Police that and the offence will follow.

The obstruction doesn't get called in the playoffs which is why more needs to be done.
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#11 How the west was won

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

@How_the_west_was_won
5. To break the trap the offensive player would be allowed to ice the puck and his teammates would be allowed to be offside.
So the trapping team is hampered by an opponent (Edler) that can shoot the puck to the end of the rink and his teammate (Kesler) would be able to skate to the end of the rink without being called for offside.
This would stretch the defense and severely weaken the trap.


I know what you put originally, but that much of a change would create too much clutter for officiating, which as we all know is also a major problem
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#12 Mrock-763

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:05 PM

-They now allow goals to be scored with the skates if there is no kicking motion (unless he's a Canuck).


I lol'd :P
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#13 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

I know what you put originally, but that much of a change would create too much clutter for officiating, which as we all know is also a major problem

On the contrary, alowing both icing and offside simplifies the officiating by reducing the calls that have to be made at the defensive blueline.
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#14 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:16 PM

I lol'd :P

It's funny cuz it's true.
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#15 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

Goalie equipment size immediately comes to mind.
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#16 How the west was won

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:36 PM

On the contrary, alowing both icing and offside simplifies the officiating by reducing the calls that have to be made at the defensive blueline.


It's not as easy as just not calling. The officials don't just not call, they decide to not call. There is a big difference in the two. It adds more for the linesmen to consider.
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#17 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:53 PM

It's not as easy as just not calling. The officials don't just not call, they decide to not call. There is a big difference in the two. It adds more for the linesmen to consider.

The official at Edler's blueline will check to see if there is a defender in his zone. He would signal in a similar way that they do for icing.
The official at the Pred's blueline will not have to check for offside when the other official gives him the signal.
it's actually easier.

Edited by OrrFour, 10 March 2013 - 04:17 PM.

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#18 surtur

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

drop some crap teams from the League and have more talent on the remaining teams .?
get rid of the high sticking call when it is hit with a stick? what kind of rule is that . you are supposed to use your stick on the puck so what does it matter if it is 1 foot off the ice or 6 feet.
make all D men play with 4ft sticks.
make goalies wear blinders so they can only see straight ahead and have 0 (zero) peripheral vision.
take away the goalie's stick.
give a penalty shot plus a 2 man advantage (if they do not score on the penalty shot) instead of just the penalty shot.

all bad ideas. but hey i am sure more goals would be scored
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#19 Coconuts

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:32 PM

drop some crap teams from the League and have more talent on the remaining teams .?


That's what I was thinking. Shut down some of the teams bleeding money and the talent would be less diluted. There wouldn't be as many jobs either, so the pressure to perform and hold a roster spot would be greater.
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#20 allkill326

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

They should look to get rid of the trapezoid. It will contribute in allowing more goals by goaltender puckhandling blunders.
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#21 ManUtd

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:46 PM

I'm pretty sure the idea of changing the net size was floated around before. I remember years ago Luongo said if they made the nets bigger he would retire. It never really seemed to take off after that. I don't think the GMs were in favour of the idea either.
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#22 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

I'm pretty sure the idea of changing the net size was floated around before. I remember years ago Luongo said if they made the nets bigger he would retire. It never really seemed to take off after that. I don't think the GMs were in favour of the idea either.

Yes that's what I wrote. These ideas have been or are being discussed.
That is a particularly radical one that I don't think wil happen in the near future, but never say never.
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#23 OrrFour

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:24 PM

It's funny cuz it's true.

I take it back. They let henrik 'direct' one in with his skate tonight.
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#24 terrible.dee

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:34 AM

I really like your "Break the trap" idea.

The league should have done something about this 20 years ago, the day after the Devils won the cup.

Allowing the trap to exist cost then their TV deal with fox and MILLIONS of dollars in revenue.

My idea is sort of a reverse offside:

So long as the puck remains in the offensive zone at last 2 fore checkers must be pressuring the puck carrier with due urgency. If all offensive players retreat to the neutral zone with the puck still in their offensive zone that team is guilty of "Trapping" and is given a penalty. 1st time in a game 2 min, second time 5 min.

At any rate, whether it's my idea, yours or a different one, that fact remains the THE TRAP MUST BE TAKEN OUT OF HOCKEY ONCE AND FOR ALL.
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#25 MayRayDown

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

We could just let Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia play 82 games. The average goals/game would be record breaking
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#26 Dragonfruits

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:16 AM

you will never see goal totals like you did in the 80's not only was the equipment size a lot smaller on goalies but the talent pool was quite small compared to today you have teams for the most part with true number 1 goalies that can steal games and even capable back ups that are better than the starters from the 80's
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#27 OrrFour

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:17 PM

you will never see goal totals like you did in the 80's not only was the equipment size a lot smaller on goalies but the talent pool was quite small compared to today you have teams for the most part with true number 1 goalies that can steal games and even capable back ups that are better than the starters from the 80's

Yes we can see goals per game as in the 80s.
In fact, the NHL could be a higher scoring league then in the 80s.
It will take some major rule changes tho.
Yes goalies and their equipment are bigger, but there needs to be more and better chances.
Yes goalies are better, but the chances are not there like in the 80s.

Would there be more goals if there were more breakaways and two on ones? Yes
Would there be more goals if the nets were bigger? Yes
Would there be more goals if defensemen couldn't make a change because their bench is too far away? Yes
Would there be more goals if a player on offense could use a hand pass to a teammate? Yes
Would there be more goals if teams couldn't trap effectively? Yes
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#28 OrrFour

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:26 PM

I really like your "Break the trap" idea.

The league should have done something about this 20 years ago, the day after the Devils won the cup.

Allowing the trap to exist cost then their TV deal with fox and MILLIONS of dollars in revenue.

My idea is sort of a reverse offside:

So long as the puck remains in the offensive zone at last 2 fore checkers must be pressuring the puck carrier with due urgency. If all offensive players retreat to the neutral zone with the puck still in their offensive zone that team is guilty of "Trapping" and is given a penalty. 1st time in a game 2 min, second time 5 min.

At any rate, whether it's my idea, yours or a different one, that fact remains the THE TRAP MUST BE TAKEN OUT OF HOCKEY ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Interesting solution. I don't think the forecheckers need to be pressuring the puck carrier. Even if they are requred to be in their offensive zone this might be enough.
obviously the rule wouldn't apply on line changes or other instances when players can't get to the offensive zone in time.
I'd like to see this on the ice.
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#29 La Mauviette75

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

well i know many will disagree with me, but i think the game is just fine the way it is right now. i don't think we need more goals. evert goal is very important, but isn't a death sentence. as we have it now, it's the most exciting sport in the world. lets not tweak it. it's not broke. lets not fix it.
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#30 OrrFour

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:49 AM

Okay I made a new octagon for all the guys that think that goal scoring is fine the way it is.
Please go to:
Goal Scoring in the NHL: Too Few, Just Right or Too many?

http://forum.canucks.com/topic/341367-goal-scoring-in-the-nhl-too-few-just-right-or-too-many/


I even made a poll for you.
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