After decreasing the size of goalie leg pads last season, the NHL was supposed to move forward with smaller chest protectors this season.
Now, that is apparently not going to be the case. At least not yet.
According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie on Monday, NHL goalies will not have to wear the smaller chest protectors this season because the equipment is not ready yet.
Lavoie says it is “still possible” for next season.
NHL goalies won't have to wear the smaller chest protectors this season. The new equipment is not ready yet. Still possible next season.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) September 18, 2017
Increasing goal scoring has been a huge talking point for more than a decade now and much of the focus has been on the size of goalie equipment.
The smaller leg pads introduced last season did not make much of a difference in goal scoring across the league.
The thing about increasing scoring in the NHL is that there isn’t one quick fix to suddenly spark it. It is going to take a combination of things. Yes, goalie equipment is bigger than it used to be. Maybe bigger than it needs to be. But goalies themselves are also significantly bigger — and far more athletic and quicker — than they used to be. They are also better than they used to be. The game itself is more systematic and defensive in the way it is coached and played, while penalties are not always called as consistently as fans and players would like to see which cuts down on the number of power play opportunities.
All of those factors contribute to the state of goal scoring in the NHL today, and some of them (the actual size of goalies, as well as their ability) can not be “fixed” unless something really drastic is done, such as making the nets bigger.