September 25, 2007

Bigger Nets

"The NHL first discussed the idea of larger nets two years ago, when players and league executives met to debate ways of increasing scoring and opening up the game."

"The topic was revisited briefly in June when general managers met in Ottawa." [Luongo vows to quit over bigger nets].

How much would 1" change in net size (on all sides)? So what would happen if we moved the left post by 1" and the right post by 1" and increased the hight by 1"?

Since the NHL records how many goalposts (and crossbars) there are, we know how often the puck hits the 2 and 3/8th inch posts.

Last season the puck hit the frame 1480 times. So moving the post by 1" would mean taking the shots that hit the first 1" from the inside and counting those as goals and the pucks that hit the other 1 and 3/8th inch would still be posts (plus all the new posts) [simple logic, "works well enough"]. Essentially this would convert 1/(2+3/8) of the frame hits into goals or about 623 new goals per year for every 1" change in net dimensions. So it would take a 2" all around the net change to increase scoring per game by 1 goal.

Of course this is assuming goalies and teams don't adjust to the new system. Goalies would attempt to cut off shots even more (quite an adjustment for a goalie like Luongo).


Anonymous said...

I think they could create more goals simply by raising the height of the goal 4-6 inches. Goalies are generally much taller now than they were 20 years and even when they are on their knees they can cover much of the top of the goal. Because of this they far more often just drop to their knees and cover the whole bottom part of the goal and most of the top. But, if when they dropped to their knees there was still a lot to shoot at up high, they are unlikely to drop to their knees to quickly and so often. This will also potentially allow more low shots in as well. And by only increasing the height of the goal you only need to change the nets, not the configuration and placement of the goal moorings in every arena.

If pro basketball players have to deal with a longer 3 point arc, what is wrong with pro hockey players having to deal with a slightly taller net?

JavaGeek said...

There were 192 cross bar hits last season using the same logic:

For every 2 and 3/8th inch increase in net height there should be an increase of 192/1230 goals per game or 0.15G/game (or 0.08GF/team-game)

A 6" increase in net height should increase scoring by about 0.4G/game or 0.2G/team-game (or 7% increase) (with a "net height" increase of 12.5%)

Sounds about right to me.

Is it a good idea/bad idea?:
Makes no difference to me, as I don't think the "net size" changes the sport at all, besides making game less random (more goals = less random). One could argue less random = less exciting.

Certain players and goalies will adjust faster than others, which I'm not sure is fair. (A non-scorer could become a big time scorer). I'd be curious to the effect on D-man scoring this would have.

A higher net would also mean more pucks would be shot around head height.