"If we can only get another goal and a half..." (NHL working to halt scoring drought)

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Fugu, Oct 5, 2013.

View Users: View Users
  1. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    36,952
    Likes Received:
    211
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Occupation:
    Existence
    Location:
    ϶(°o°)ϵ
    Article by Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated touches on several topics, but the second half addresses some business issues and beliefs on what's needed to drive TV and fan interest:

    Seems obvious that there is a belief among NHL GMs and perhaps league execs that more goal scoring results in more excitement and greater fan interest.

    The bone I would pick with the above, "offense has been sclerotic" is that it's a bit misleading. It may be that the result of all those offensive opportunities isn't yielding as many goals, for several reasons, but is it safe to conclude that the offensive game and opportunities are lacking or diminished from the Gretzky/Lemieux eras? There is a school of thought that suggest the scoring during that era was mostly a result of the great disparity in the NHL at that time.

    Are the GMs and the league targeting a symptom and not a root cause?

    Enter the 45% solution, which the first half of the article addresses (size of goalie pads and the effect that will have on goaltenders).

    The take home might be that the league is indicating it's willing to do a lot of nips and tucks to try to get more goals. There's even a stated metric, 1.5 G/gm more on average. What exactly does that mean and will it really make that much of a difference? One also has to be cognizant that you can increase scoring per game but that it may come more easily to the guys who already aren't as challenged, perhaps widening the gap between the best and worst.
     
  2. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6,514
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    The Known Universe
    IMO there's no "scoring drought" to be dealt with, but okay they want to increase scoring.

    I think the problem is, teams will always adjust no matter what you do in the rules to increase scoring. There isn't any encouragement to "loosen up" the players to play faster/more scoring opportunities. When there was that encouragement post previous lockout to this one-they clamped down on obstruction. That-for a short while-encouraged speedy play. But then players started getting hurt through concussions/high impact body checks-and then what happened? We start hearing from the GMs about how they need to-wait for it-"slow the game down" to prevent injuries (whether it actually it did or not was debatable).

    So now we have teams going back to slower, defensive hockey, more shot blocks, more tra....er...left wing l.....er...."crowding up center of ice". And no matter how much you adjust goalie equipment (my outrageous observation of no dropping to knees aside :laugh:), goalies will adjust.

    So unless you want to make nets a lot bigger, or introduce ideas like going back to full 2 minute penalties even after a goal, there isn't much.
     
  3. Jyrki

    Jyrki no longer trusts Linden CREW

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    11,913
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    新香
    I don't get the obsession with pad sizes. It's not the problem at all, but it seems like the media and some officials want to make it so.

    I'll shamelessly advertise myself and post the study I did on scoring levels. Suffice to say, goals are down largely because refs are being more permissive and there are less shots reaching the net. ES save percentages haven't changed since 2007-08, and PP conversion rates have been steady since the 2004-05 lockout.

    http://hfboards.mandatory.com/showthread.php?t=1492063
     
  4. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6,514
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    The Known Universe
    Yea, "More Permissive" ergo "Not calling penalties consistently" heck never mind game to game or even period to period-but shift to shift sometimes IMO. The problem on the other side is that when things DO start getting called by the book, then imbellishment seems to rise-the question is getting the refs to figure out, at the speed of the game, what is imbellishment and what is legit. Maybe we go to off ice officials and replays? No easy answer.

    Every time the refs are told to "call the penalties" the GMs seem to get their knickers in a knot and complain that the refs are "influencing the game" too much.

    I think the pad sizes issue-at least perhaps with media-goes back to J.S Guiguere and the goalies back then-and the media has since jumped on it. Now yes there were some pretty plump goalies then, I agree, but is it 2 goals a game worth? Or is part of it too just simply the goalie position has gone from one of "just stand there and try to keep the puck out" position to probably the most highly trained position on the team.
     
  5. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    Less shot blocking and coaches on the bench!!!

    Here are a few suggestions I would like to see implemented or at least tried out in the pre-season.

    I'd suggested this idea in the Canucks board, where under their new Coach, Torts, there is a renewed emphasis on "shot blocking" from their players. Which, in 7 games (including pre-season games) have resulted in two players (Schroeder, Burrows) getting injured and out of action for several weeks due to foot injuries while blocking shots.

    I'd like to see less shot blocking in the game and I think it would result in more goals.

    I'd make it a minor penalty for a hockey player who sprawls down in an attempt to act like a goalie to block shots. If you're in the path, and you hold your ground but stay upright, that's not a penalty, but if you try to act like a goalie and do a double stack or something to that effect, 2 minutes minor!

    Another idea something I've heard from the very popular local columnist on these forums, none other than the one and only Tony Gallagher that I'd love to see tested out.

    Tony suggested the removal of the assistant Coaches from the benches and leave only the Head Coach there to manage the players. As he feels there's too much micro-management going on right now with a Coaches over-coaching the players and reinforcing the system and making in-game adjustment. Imagine having just one Coach, being the bench boss and behind the bench. It would probably be more chaotic and we would see less structure in their systems.

    What say you? :m-cool:
     
  6. mouser

    mouser Business of Hockey

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    21,637
    Likes Received:
    2,171
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Location:
    South Mountain
    Thinking outside of the box, why not just have every game start with the score at 1-1?
     
  7. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    24,029
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    131
    Location:
    Mexico
    I still say that it's all related to the evolution of the game; in particular the evolution or greater development of both the goalies and the defensemen, as well as play which is designed around the improved strengths in the defensive position. Regardless of whether teams want more goals, they will still primarily play to the strengths that improve the odds of winning.

    The only way to really counter that is to either redesign the game somewhat so that it takes away from the the strength of the defensive system, or increase the net dimensions to make it more difficult for goalies to protect all areas of the net as they are now able to do (roughly 6 inches wider, 2 inches higher, that should do it). With respect to the defensive position, I think an area, perhaps 10 feet out from the goal, within which defensemen cannot play like a frontline goaltending role; something like that might be one way to go.
     
  8. Pi

    Pi Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    43,039
    Likes Received:
    4,466
    Trophy Points:
    157
    Location:
    Toronto
    That would be a gimmick!

    How about start the game with 3 penalty shots per team?

    So the game could possibly be tied 3-3 before the puck even drops. How's that for offense?
     
  9. Wingsfan2965*

    Wingsfan2965* Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    6,746
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Make every goal worth seven points...

    But seriously, the NFL rarely has an outrageous number of touchdowns per game, and yet people still watch, so scoring isn't the issue.

    Maybe if the NHL actually tried marketing their product for once...
     
  10. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6,514
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    The Known Universe
    Interesting ideas :)

    The shot blocking I have thought of, but there is a challenge here. That is if you penalize dropping to stop a shot, it would be proving "intent" (l love that term lol). How many players/coachs would cite "bad ice surface/player lost balance"-it would have to be defined in some way. MAYBE the ref could make a judgement call and cite that blocking the shot prevented a scoring chance-that the puck would have to make contact with the prone player.
    The challenge with that of course is similar to goalies-lots of Dmen are trained to go down to block a shot as part of their development-that would have to be something that works its way down through the system to the minor leagues.

    As for the assistant coach idea-that could be interesting take on it, and the removal of micromanaging/chaos could be an interesting experiment-at the least might lead to more penalties involving line changes/too many men.

    The more I think about it, and I mentioned it before, why NOT go back to 2 min full penalties even with scoring? It used to be that way before the Habs way back when they had a pretty much HHOF team would rack up a score on a penalty and pretty much put the game out of reach-in today's era of more parity with teams, that might not be as big an issue.

    Again, convince the GM's/owners of that ;)
     
  11. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6,514
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    The Known Universe
    I agree that it shouldn't be about the "goals".

    I hear time and again about new fans who get taken to their first live game are amazed how fast the game is-but that's very hard to capture on televisions even now. I know when you watch the angle that hockey games are shown now-it's hard to really pick up how fast the game is. Basketball somehow seems to be able to show the speed on TV-I don't know what's different. When I see a fast break in an NBA game, it DOES look like a fast break. Yet when I see a breakaway/2 on 1 up the ice, I don't get that impression of speed, compared to watching the game live, even in Junior level where you can see the speed and effort these guys make to boot down the ice.

    Is there anyway to make the presentation relate the speed more? Maybe more cameras like the "end to end" cameras used in Winter Classic, those camera do a great job of showing the player and the speed relative as they skate down the boards.
     
  12. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    the Annex
    Heh. Yea, even less penalties would be called with that reinstated rule.
     
  13. Jonas1235

    Jonas1235 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,548
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    Calgary
    it's the 1-0 games that kill the numbers. Just like a shopper buying a 7.95 item when everyone else is buying 29.95. Just kills the overall numbers. Doesn't mean things aren't great though.

    The quality of games today is infinitely better than 1993. HD alone makes the difference.
     
  14. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6,514
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    The Known Universe
    Is there any other pro sport that tries to "make it more interesting" for fans in another country/culture? Now DONT get me wrong, I'm not talking about the arguments this gets into, I'm not going down that road.

    Why can't the NHL simply market the game through other means than "changing the rules so there can be more scoring"?-I still think they're trying to fix a problem that isn't there. Surely there are other ways of marketing the game.

    Soccer worldwide has phenomenal following-they often have 1-0, 2-1 scores, and seem to embrace the fact that goals are hard to come by, so when a goal IS scored, it's a "big event"-and the tension for many of watching, waiting for that goal is a part of the experience. On the other hand, a game like indoor Lacrosse, with it's 10-7 scores-if indeed "more scoring" is the issue, is barely a blip sports wise.

    Why can't we just market the game for all it's nuances and skill-make the audience come to love the game, don't change the game to fit the audience.

    BTW I specifically stress change "for another country/culture"-I'm not talking about a sport changing rules in its OWN culture-like Nascar's rule merry go round or Baseball's adding playoffs.
     
  15. Mad Dog Tannen

    Mad Dog Tannen Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,801
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    94
    How on earth did u prove causation to ref calls and eliminate goalie pads as a cause. Bad stat assumptions are bad.
     
  16. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    More 4 on 4 hockey if there are hockey fights!!!

    Another way to increase offense in the game, IMO, would be to increase the potential opportunity for 4-on-4 play.

    Now as it currently stands, during a hockey fight, teams don't play 4-on-4 hockey after the two pugilists are assessed their major penalties and they just resume 5-on-5. I'd change that and make 4-on-4 for the duration of the five minutes.

    And if there is an instigator penalty, that would mean a 4-on-3 powerplay.

    It would introduce a dynamic on whether teams' would use try to start more fights or dissuade team's from starting more fights depending on the quality of the team and the in-game situation.

    I'm still have to work things out on whether we'll see more or less fighting. Strategically, if a team is down a goal ... it may be in their best interest to try to get the other team to agree to a mutual fight, to open up ice, especially if the other team is playing very conservatively to protect the lead. Likewise, the other team coach's would likely tell their players to decline the invitation unless they are given no choice. There are probably other scenarios where a more skilled team with really high end, good skating players wouldn't mind seeing more 4-on-4 play so they would try to create situations where we see a fight for the sake of opening up the ice and in theory creating a strategic advantage for them.

    What say you? :m-cool:
     
  17. Big McLargehuge

    Big McLargehuge Registered User

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    68,957
    Likes Received:
    1,192
    Trophy Points:
    215
    Location:
    S. Pasadena, CA
    Just call the penalties as they are in the rulebook and be done with it.
     
  18. chi777

    chi777 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    96
    I think this is the best idea. I wouldn't mind the instigator so much if that was how the NHL handled it. I also like the "serve the full 2 min regardless if a goal is scored" idea.
     
  19. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    But that would require competent referees. That's almost mission impossible. :(
     
  20. Wingsfan2965*

    Wingsfan2965* Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    6,746
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The NHL does a great job of marketing the sport itself, but they're absolutely awful at getting the players marketed.
     
  21. Jazz Crabs

    Jazz Crabs It's just hockey..

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A simple fix that i think would increase scoring is not allowing the defending team on the PK to ice the puck. Just call it icing and make the tired bodies stay out there! It's never made much sense to me that a team can ice a puck legally just because they're short a man... :shakehead
     
  22. Betamax*

    Betamax* Guest

    I like your suggestion.

    :handclap:
     
  23. Jyrki

    Jyrki no longer trusts Linden CREW

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    11,913
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    新香
    -Penalties called/game strongly correlated with goals scored/game, likewise with goals scored/game, ESSV% and ESS/60
    -PP opportunity-adjusted scoring levels (2005-06 as base year) are meaningfully higher than actual scoring levels
    -PP conversion rates steady from 2005-06 through 2012-13
    -Shots taken at ES/60 fell significantly since 2005-06

    Here's the logic: Adjusting for PP opportunities (and adjusting TOI splits accordingly) alone has a large effect on goals for/game and makes up for over half of the difference in most seasons. When you also take into consideration that teams are firing shots at a lesser rate in even strength, yet having the same success beating goaltenders during the power play, you have to wonder why's that - how come it's become harder to score in ES, but not in the power play?

    Less shots are being taken, first of all, which has nothing to do with goaltending ability and will obviously explain a chunk of the scoring drop. Two, ESSV% has increased since 2005-06 but it can't necessarily be attributed to goaltenders. That's where noting the ES-PP difference is key. It makes perfect sense to conclude ES play has become more suffocating because players are allowed greater liberties (e.g. interference, hooking, etc.) or they have figure out how to do just enough obstruction without taking a penalty. But doing the same during a PK is obviously far riskier, and there are less obstruction opportunities. It's far more likely that's the case rather than increased pad sizes.

    Even if you could pin the differences down to goaltenders ability, it might be that they're flat out bigger and better than ever before so why even bother with that?


    I'm working on a two-part study that expands what we already know about shot blocking, so maybe it'll help shed some light on whether banning sliding blocks would be of any use.
     
  24. Tough Guy

    Tough Guy Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It means somewhere between 6 and 7 goals per game, which is the "golden mean" for hockey, as far as I'm concerned. It sits comfortably within the historical average for scoring in the modern era (prior to dead puck hockey).

    And yes, it really will make that much of a difference. The difference between dead puck hockey and early 90s Lemieux/Gretzky/Yzerman/Selanne/Bure, free-wheeling hockey is literally night and day.

    And? This is a problem? The "great" should always dominate the "good" in sports.
     
  25. Pilky01

    Pilky01 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Messages:
    7,727
    Likes Received:
    779
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Occupation:
    Not hockey
    Location:
    GTA
    I'll take less stoppages in play over slightly more scoring any day of the week.

    Teams will just ice the puck regardless. A little rest is better than none at all.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"