During the LA Kings and St Louis Blues game, our friends @LAKings offered up a question, one that seemed simple and harmless, but also one that proved to be polarizing among hockey fans.

Now I tend to be a guy who, when it comes to hockey, enjoys a defensive dogfight from time to time. The Kings-Blues game was a perfect example. Sure there wasn’t the offensive fireworks that we saw against Winnipeg and Edmonton, but we did see two teams who didn’t give an inch to each other for 65 minutes, playing a game in mid-October that had the intensity of a game in mid-April. Plus, everyone got to see Jonathan Quick do this a lot:


But when there is a low-scoring, defensive chess match goaltender duel like Thursday night, there are always those who feel like the game owed them more. There are always the curmudgeons who don’t appreciate a good save or a good backcheck and the chumbolones who aren’t happy unless the game ends 7-5. Those who found last night’s game, in so few words, “Boring.”

Well to be fair the guy’s name is “Grumpytowne.”

Best third line ever.

No! The anti-defense sentiment has spread to #TeamTRH, time to panic!

Phew, false alarm. It was only his cats.

So, apparently, there was a large contingent of hockey fans watching the Kings win in thrilling fashion who were bitter because they didn’t see enough goals scored. Those are the same people who must care more about getting free frozen yogurt than enjoying a good game.

Well fine, I’ll play that game.

The NHL has whined for years now that they need to find ways to increase scoring, so here are a few tweaks the Rules Committee could make to actually get the results they are looking for. I’m not talking about the half-assed, trim an inch off the goalie’s pads and call it a day suggestions that will lead to a few more goals this year, and bring everyone right back to the drawing board next year. I’m talking about radical changes, surefire ways to send offense through the roof and appease those who become miserable watching a goalie stop 43 of 43 shots and steal a game for his team.

1. Remove All Plexiglass From the Arena

Pros: It doesn’t matter if you like the rule or not, the truth is that delay of game penalties issued to a team trying to clear their zone cause goals. It’s science. Penalties lead to power plays, and power plays lead to goals (unless you are the Los Angeles Kings). So why not maximize the number of these power play opportunities by taking the glass out of the picture. It’s a weird concept but it has a number of fringe benefits as well. Fans and photographers will get a better view of the action, more fans get a chance to take home an errant puck as a souvenir, and there will be more players being hit into the front row, which will provide greater entertainment value.

Cons: More fans will also get to take home a fractured skull as a souvenir.

2. Make Goalies Wear Full Vintage Pads

Pros: The league has restricted the maximum size of goaltender equipment for years now, from narrowing the width of leg pads to 11 inches from 12 inches to eliminating the inner-thigh boards, and yet goalies can still shut down the best players in the world. Well goals were scored all the time back in the 50’s and 60’s, why not duplicate the same formula when it comes to goalie gear.


In this extremely crude depiction of what Jonathan Quick would look like if he wore Rogie Vachon’s equipment you see… Well first and foremost you see that I am brutal at using Photoshop. But you can imagine how much more room there would be just about anywhere to shoot.  And people love throwback stuff, they would totally get on board with this, just think how good it would look with the gold and forum blue.

Cons: There would soon be no goalies left in the league, as within a month of wearing the gear all of them would either be out with broken femurs and forearms or quit.

3. Bonus Goals

Pros: Modern day work environments are all about incentivizing. Sales people get commission when they sell more stuff. People get prizes and opportunities when they win contests (I’m still waiting for my prize, FYI). Hell, hockey players even get multi-millon dollar bonuses when they make the playoffs or hit a certain number of goals or hits (or, as I assume is the case with Jarret Stoll, offensive zone penalties). So why wouldn’t you put the same reward structure in the actual game itself?

With this system in place, after the game ends, the ref takes a look at the final statsheet and gives out actual bonus goals to the team with the most hits, the most faceoff wins, the best Corsi rating, shots on goal — the sky is the limit to what could be considered. It’s already much easier for fans to follow along at home with the total shots in a game, why not make the final count matter in the end? Plus you would see the hilarity that could ensue in the final five minutes of a 4-2 game when a team has to decide whether to try and score two goals or just start banging bodies to win the bonus point for hits.

Cons: Under these rules, the Kings would have probably lost to St. Louis by a final score of 6-1.

4. Play the Edmonton Oilers 40 Times Per Season

Pros: Self explanatory. I mean the Kings do get to play them six times each season already which is more than most teams, but imagine 40 games over the course of the season! There would be so many more opportunities to enjoy the partnership between TRH and OilersNation, Tanner Pearson would be a 50-goal scorer, the fun would be endless! Sure there would be some logistical issues with the scheduling and what-not, but, as far as what would happen on the ice, it’s a win-win situation. Well, except for the Oilers.


Look how beautiful it is!

Cons: When the day comes that Edmonton’s 30 first-round picks turn into really good hockey players and the Oilers embark on another dynasty, we are really going to regret this change.

So there you go all of you goal-hungry nuts, adapt these simple changes and the average NHL game will be an offensive bonanza in no time.

But keep in mind that while you are delighting with your free Yogurtland and high-fiving your buddies after the Kings scored their 12th goal of the game in the second period, keep in mind that while I might be showing a smile on the outside, me and all the other defense-minded people out there will be slowly dying inside.

Knick Rickle was a former junior and college goaltender and is a current aspiring journalist and mediocre adult league goaltender. While growing up in Minneapolis, he learned how to play by attending Robb Stauber's goalie school, which unbeknownst to him at the time was the first step in becoming a Kings fan. The rest of the steps came when became probably the first person ever to move to California from Minnesota to play hockey. He currently is unemployed, holds an English degree, while contributing to #TeamTRH, so you be the judge how his hockey career turned out. You can follow KnickRickle on Twitter @KnickRickle.