WHY ARE GOALS UP IN THE NHL?
GOALS ARE UP!
There’s a lot of talk lately about the increase in goal production in the NHL. Experts are trying to analyze the reason for this offensive trend.
Is it the minimal change they made to the goalies’ upper body garment?
Some suggest that the increase in “slashing” penalties” creates more power plays, therefore, produces more goals.
Traffic inside the crease and net presence are at a premium. Referees and the NHL appear to be more lenient on what’s goalie interference and what’s not.
Attackers seem to be shooting the puck more (“What a concept!”). Players with the puck also appear to attack the net more aggressively rather than passing as a priority.
All those suggestions are conceivable reasons and likely contribute to the increase in goal scoring. But, in my opinion, the main reason that more goals are scored in the NHL, is that the league is trending towards playing younger players.
From a quick, unofficial survey, I counted 169 players who are 23 years old or younger on NHL rosters. (’95 born and younger) That’s an average of 5.5 per team or roughly 25% of the league. Some teams carry as many as 9 of those younger players. What does that matter, you might say? Younger players make more mistakes, they have a lot to learn about playing without the puck, therefore causing more openings. Younger players are more aggressive offensively and take more chances. It’s a game of errors. The more errors, the more scoring chances and obviously more goals.
When you come right down to it, let’s stop analyzing why and enjoy the action while it lasts because General Managers, coaches and goalies will try to find a way to stop this goal scoring spree sooner than later.
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