A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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After watching the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings close out of a sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon, we got to thinking.
The intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs is unmatched in sports and every hockey fan loves the physical play if not the hits to head. But there needs to be more scoring.
The Kings-Blues contest was the 59th played in the playoffs and teams were barely averaged five goals per game (5.37).
In the first round, 242 goals were scored in the 48 games played, an average of 5.04 contest. But if you take out the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series, which clearly was an aberration with 56 goals in six games, the average drops to 4.43.
The only other first-round series to average five per game was Devils-Panthers (5.0). The Rangers-Senators series was the lowest-scoring in the opening round (3.85).
Scoring was slightly up through the first 11 games of the second round with 75 goals scored (5.76).
Sure, there has been some spectacular goaltending in the postseason. Four netminders left in the playoffs - Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick, the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, Phoenix's Mike Smith and Washington's Braden Holtby -- have goals-against averages under two.
But, honestly, are we going to put these goaltenders in the same league with some of the legendary keepers of the past?
We understand it was a diferent game back in the 70 and 80s. The game was much more wide open and there wasn't the dedication to shot blocking that there is today when goaltenders see less rubber and therefore have lower GAA's.
But perhaps the biggest problem is that the goalies are dressed up like the Michelin Man. The NHL should once again seriously consider limiting the amout of equipment they wear between the pipes.
Keep in mind that during the Oilers' heyday in the 1980s, the league average was around eight goals per game.