There are several areas that get commonly looked at as ways to increase goal scoring and they are the “reduce the goalie equipment” and “make the nets bigger”. These are minor factors in amount of goals that are stopped. In watching games now, coaches have implemented a defensive systems that do not rely on hooking and grabbing – now they block shots. Just for fun, watch a game and only count shots that get blocked or deflected. Paraphrasing Wayne Gretzky, “100% of all shots that don't get to the net will not go in".
• Make the player serve the full 2 minutes in the penalty box regardless of the amount of goals scored. Against teams with skilled power play units, this is a severe penalty.
• Only allow the team killing the penalty to shoot the puck down the ice once they gain their own blue line. This prevents them from just firing the puck from behind their own net.
• Penalties that stretch over the intermission come with an additional note. The opening faceoff for the next period takes place in the offending team’s zone. The center-ice faceoff kills an additional 15-20 seconds off the penalty. I have noticed more and more teams willing to take a penalty late, knowing that the end and start of the period are a benefit to killing penalties.
• Allow the coaches to “challenge” 2 plays per game on replay. This could be a high-stick that goes unnoticed, and offside play, or any number of other plays that could change the game.
• Follow the NFL with the usage of a timeout as the cost of the challenge. If the coach is right, he maintains the timeout for later use but no more than 1 or 2 challenges per game.
Goaltender Puck Control
• Eliminate the goalie trapezoid. It is stupid and serves no purpose.
• Limit the goalie handling the puck to say no handling the puck by a goalie behind the goal line. That allows all dump-ins to be handled by the skaters.
• If he can control the puck before the goal line it is fine.
Help Eliminate the Defensive Systems
• Add a defensive area in the slot which is limited to 2 and only 2 defenders. This zone would extend from the hash marks on the face-off circles straight back to the goal line.
• This gives the offensive players a chance to shoot from the prime scoring area. Watch a game and witness for yourself the 5 guys collapsing on the net. Now before you start screaming think about it. In the NBA they added illegal defense and the 3 second rule; the NFL has stopped cornerbacks from bumping players past 5 yards. Why? So scoring is better!!
• The amount of shots that get to the net would increase by 25% in every game. Also the team on a power play could really attack the box better. If the defender drops behind the net, a forward could drop into the slot-box, but he must leave before the defenseman can return to the zone. This would leave a 2-1 out high with shooting lanes available. If the defender allows the free plays behind the net, the passes in front would be easier to complete.
• I realize that this would be difficult to implement, but these players are used to tap dancing around the lines for off-sides would adapt quickly.
• Finally how to enforce this zone. Give the team a warning during the 1st period if they violate the zone. In the 2nd or 3rd period or after the warning, it is a 2:00 unsportsmanlike penalty.