Will the NHL’s rule changes increase scoring?

The NHL recently announced a series of rule changes which will be in place for the 2014-15. These included increasing the size of the trapezoid and setting up “long changes” during the overtime period. The analysis indicates that these changes may lead to a rise in scoring, as seen in an article on NHL.com.

A few members of the PDL crew got together and discussed this notion.

Will the NHL’s recent rule changes boost scoring?


I highly doubt it. The only stuff we ever have to go on based on these rule-changes are small sample sizes afterwards. Just because goal scoring increases after they shrank net size for one season doesn’t mean that’s what caused the increase in goal scoring at all. There are other factors that go into increased or decreased scoring, and sometimes it just happens.

If goalies know what they’re doing, the size of the trapezoid probably won’t increase goal scoring noticeably. Maybe a few scoring chances here and there, but that’s it. The video goal review may help a little bit, but that’s fixing a wrong more than going out and saying “oh! Let’s go jack up the goal totals!”

Perhaps the long change at overtime may help – it seems to’ve helped the USH in the short term. Anything to limit the skills competition is fine with me.

If scoring’s down a bit from last year, why is the NHL reacting with rule changes? Scoring is down in MLB this year it seems – will they go through and try to add stuff to boost runs? I wish the league’d stop knee-jerk reacting after a year or two of lower goal totals.


I think the scoring in the NHL is going to be a moot point until we see something major like a switch to a international ice. This question also begs a few others. Is scoring really horribly down? And at the end of the day can we look past goalies just being better?

In the 80’s and early 90’s, goalies were trash. Now, you see guys that have been playing and excelling at the position since they have been 10.

I respect a well played 3-2 game far more than a 7-6 game. If scoring goes up that isn’t exactly a great thing for anything but ratings.


Yes and no. Immediately, these rules won’t do much to change scoring. Scoring will inevitably be slightly higher or lower than last year and someone will suggest it was due to these rules. That’s not fair as the new rules will likely have a nominal impact.

However, the creation and implementation of these new rules does pave the way for others. Instead of jumping in and immediately shifting to 3-on-3 overtime, the NHL introduced a smaller change. When they eventually roll out a larger change, such as fewer players in OT or shaking up how other parts of the game function, these larger changes won’t seem quite as bad or significant because the league rolled out these minor changes first.