My friend Ken Frank and I have had a few discussion about how the NHL can increase scoring. In other words, we would like to see more goals scored in the NHL. People don't come to watch Sidney Crosby being hacked, hooked, or held up and down the ice. They pay great wads of money to watch him score goal and make plays.
More specifically; let's push this point even further. It's not just about the regular season. I'd like to get more goal scoring during the Stanley Cup Playoffs? There's doesn't need to be a bunch of gimmicks to make this happen.
My buddies solution to the NHL's goal drought "BLOW THE F#(KING WHISTLE". Simple right? Call penalties when there are penalties. It's just a very simplistic solution. If the ref sees an infraction on the ice, i.e. a player takes his hand off of his stick to hold up an opposing player in any zone on the ice. Or if a player hooks another player with his stick going through the neutral zone. "BLOW THE F#(KING WHISTLE".
Well, I'll be damned, Adam Gretz from CBS Sports has this same suggestion in a recent blog post on how to increase scoring in the NHL.
1. Bring back the power play and call penaltiesThere it is. Just blow the whistle and call the penalties. Finally, don't have two rule books, one for the regular season and one for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. An obstruction penalty in October should be a penalty in June.
This is the most practical solution of them all when it comes to increasing scoring.
Just enforce the rules. It doesn't require any changes to the game. It doesn't require any changes to the equipment or the size of the ice. It's just a matter of enforcing what is already in the rule books.
There is a pretty direct relationship between the number of power plays teams get and the number of goals they score, and as goal scoring has plummeted in recent years, so to have the number of power plays. It's not a coincidence.