Tha Sports Junkies 101

My Hat Trick for a Higher Scoring NHL Game

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News clyde/via


In the NHL, here’s the way it works. You can have the most action-packed game filled with great passing, checking, penalties, injuries, fights and even teeth knocked out, and at the end of 60 minutes of play end up with a scoreless tie. The reason for the lack of scoring has been blamed on the modern goaltender’s protective gear. This bulky gear makes it difficult for the puck to enter the goal.

Some say the solution is to change the size of the net. I disagree. That’s not how the game was meant to be played. The goalie gear needs to change, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Changes may be coming to the NHL as soon as this 2017-18 season, which could mean there will no longer be as many shutouts.

The biggest modifications being considered by the NHL include changes to the goaltender equipment. Under the new guidelines, chest protectors and leg pads would be more fitted to the goalie’s body, which would in effect make them smaller, possibly increase scoring.

The NHL has been around almost one hundred years. But it wasn’t until 1959 that goalies even wore masks. They certainly didn’t have shoulder or elbow pads, and the padding they did have for their chest and legs was much smaller.

Since then, changes have been made to create more protection for the goaltender, but in the process, the outcome has been a much harder game to play. In my opinion, there are certain pieces of equipment that are unnecessary and, if removed, goaltenders would still be protected and hockey games would be more exciting to watch.

  1. As it is now, the chest and arms padding equipment includes a shoulder pad that rises way above the actual shoulder. However, it isn’t only for the goalie’s protection. Its bulk acts like a blocker for pucks. If instead of rising vertically, it wrapped around the shoulder of the goaltender, it would offer more protection and shrink the size of the equipment.  
  1. Leg pads have always been the largest piece of equipment, naturally designed to protect the legs and to create blockers for the goalie. But they are unnecessarily large. The leg pads extend about halfway up the goaltender’s thighs. It would be easy to shorten these by 2 to 3 inches on the top and take at least an inch away from the sides. The goalie would continue to wear the same protective padding underneath– knee pads and padded pants.
  1. My final suggestion for altering goalie equipment is to shorten the blade and shrink the knob of the stick. Right now, I think the stick is too long, and this change would not affect the goalie’s ability to play the puck.

No protection is lost with these adjustments. But what’s gained is a more exciting game- something we all want to see.