With the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation camp taking place this week in Toronto, I figured it was time to dig into my archives a little bit and expose an idea I’ve had brewing in my mind over the last few years.
Similar to my Turco Transition article, part of the influence of this idea comes from my experiences playing outdoor lacrosse in high school.
The outdoor lacrosse goal has a frame that rests on the ground, similar to the construction of a hockey net, which also has a frame that rests on the ground. The frame on a hockey goal goes in the shape of a bowed “U” or “3”. The frame on a lacrosse net goes in the shape of a V.
If the NHL really wanted to show some efficiency in the way they manage space on the ice, they would use nets shaped with a “V” frame as opposed to the traditional “U” shape.
Not only does this help maximize space by removing the need for such a deep net, but more importantly it increases the size of passing lanes from behind the net. Many passes that are flat on the ice will bounce off the bowed-out frame and end up back in the corners.
But my Tight-Frame net would allow a shooter to stand directly behind the net with the puck and have many more angles to make passes, and to either side, without having to take a stride to his left or right.
A 6-10″ flat bar going directly across the back of the net allows for bank passes to still be an effective way to get around an oncoming forecheck. The space created by having a Tight-Frame net would allow for much faster rushes around the net, which increases the flow and pace of a breakout or a wraparound.
For safety purposes, the corners would be rounded instead of sharp edges and a padding similar to what is now used could be employed if needed in ways so as to not injure players if they fall on them or are clipped by one of the corners.
I feel that by using a Tight-Frame net, it simply gets rid of wasted space. There’s no need for all of that space within a net. Once the puck fully crosses the line, it’s a goal, so I don’t understand why the nets are currently so deep.
I do realize that my idea does not tackle the actual construction of the net. If it were to mimick a lacrosse net, goalies would no longer have a place to rest their water bottles, as there would no longer be a bar going from the top crossbar to the bottom footprint at the back. I’m probably one of the few goalies out there that never puts a water bottle on top of my net, so I’m not sure how this is received by most goalies, especially at the pro level.
Like all of my other diagrams and ideas, like the Inverted Trapezoid, these are just ideas. I haven’t spent time researching the dynamics or testing a net on a rink anywhere. It’s not patented, but it is copyright. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts, as I’m sure I’m missing plenty of different little dynamics that would come into play with a net like this!
Oh, and welcome to The Goalie Guild 4.0 😉 I’m finally finished with migrating all of the Guild websites over to a new host and server. And I have to say, I’m very impressed with our new layout. The drop-down menus should make everything much easier to navigate. Enjoy and thanks for being such great readers, everyone!