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02-20-2013, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
I was at the Ricoh rookie tournament in 2006 when the NHL experimented with the bigger nets. These ones were 8" wider and 6" higher IIRC. So that means 80"x54" instead of 72"x48". Or 4320 vs. 3456 square inches. That's actually a pretty significant increase, like 25%. I remember thinking that it still wasn't that visually striking from an audience perspective, however. And scoring didn't go through the roof. I think the round-robin Carey Price vs. Justin Pogge game was 6-5. There were some other lower scoring games. I don't remember if the bigger nets were in all the games.

Of course, this is a notch below NHL calibre shooters, but also young goalies. I vaguely recall Pogge critiquing the nets in the news afterwards, but I think you really have to expect that from goalies. Obviously the extra 6 inches over the shoulders if you're playing butterfly and the angles are all going to be messed up for them. Goalies adjust to the different ice dimensions and angles in international play, though, on very short notice. Less of an adjustment than have an extra 8 inches of net exposed beside you, but still.

I think if you could wave a magic wand and change all the hockey nets everywhere in the world automatically to bigger ones, it'd be an easy and relatively harmless solution. But the logistics of the trickle down effect would otherwise make it a very difficult move. And you couldn't just keep changing it, like 1 or 2 inches this year, 1 or 2 more in 10 years when we reach the same problem again, etc.

Change the fan perception instead. There's nothing wrong with a 2-1 hockey game. They haven't been talking about increasing soccer net sizes to get away from all those 1-0 scores.

The main focus shouldn't be on goals anyway. It should be on the flow of the game. Something all scrappy and ugly like the Habs-Rangers game last night isn't all that fun to watch, whether the score is 1-0 or 3-1 or 5-3. Players are bigger and faster and cut off the lanes and close the gaps so much better now, and are coached to pay attention to detail, take the short shifts to have more energy, etc, etc... the focus on "improving the game" should be more wide-reaching than "get more pucks in the net".
The size of the net or goalies has never been the cause of 1-0 soccer games. It's the distance that must be traveled between the nets just to get a shot or reasonable scoring chance.

The focus isn't just more pucks in the net, it's forcing goalies to be more athletic puck stoppers, instead of puck blockers. The biggest proponent in this thread for larger goalie equimpment said it himself. He needs the extra 2 inches on the leg pads to shut down the 5 hole when he goes down in the butterfly, not for protection. Gee, in the "olden days" good goalies used to do that with their stick.

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