Bigger nets would affect game’s integrity
There is plenty of discussion these days about how to best address the plummeting scoring totals in the National Hockey League. Most who speak on the subject can be categorized into a pair of main groups.
People fall into either the ‘let’s change the size of the goalie gear’ group or the ‘let’s make the nets bigger’ gang. Generally, there isn’t a pundit or someone with an opinion on the subject that falls in the middle of the two.
They’re either for one or the other. Very rarely do people bring up that hockey is played the same at every level, whether it’s minor hockey or pro, and good coaches have figured out how to offset that offensive attack.
There is little creativity to hockey. Get the puck, dump puck and go get puck is pretty much the entirety of a lot of team’s offensive playbook. Teams will rinse and repeat the above strategy ad nauseum over the course of a season.
In the 80s, goalies wore smaller gear and scoring totals skyrocketed.
But, that’s a column for another time.
For now, we’ll stick to the goaltenders and the larger-than-life superhero costumes they put on every time they jump between the pipes. I guess it’s easy to tell what camp I fall into, hey?
Shrinking the goaltending equipment is the really the only way to go. You can’t expect to alter the size of the nets.
They’ve been the size they’re at since the games’ beginnings. To put it simply, changing the size of the goal would alter the integrity of the game. It would change how the game is played and force it into unknown territory. Would there be more scoring?
Truthfully, that would remain to be seen. A small curve in the middle of the crossbar or at the side posts may provide a small bump in scoring totals, but nothing that would make any sort of significant splash. Besides, it would look weird. Goalie equipment is what needs to change. In the 80s, goalies wore smaller gear and scoring totals skyrocketed. The game was never more popular as a result. Well, that and teams employed two or three enforcers on their rosters.
Those days are gone. The game is too fast to have concretefooted lumberers going up and down the ice.
Nope, reducing the size of the goaltender’s equipment is what needs to happen. I’m convinced of it.
Never before in the history of hockey have there been athletes like the ones we have today playing goal. They are gargantuan in comparison to their counterparts. At least three keepers in today’s game stand at six-feet-sixinches tall. Another three are sixfeet-five inches, while several other stand at six-foot-fourinches tall.
With the large chest protectors, leg pads and gloves, goaltenders that size must seem like behemoths between the pipes.
Size is only a part of it. We have great athletes playing the position today. We know more about the position than ever before and it shows. Technically, goaltenders are the best they’ve ever been.
Something’s got to give.