"Bruised like crazy on my arms.” Those words, spoken by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott on Oct. 8, became a microcosm of many stoppers’ seasons. The NHL’s new streamlined goaltending equipment, contoured closer to the upper body, had Elliott feeling the effect of every puck that struck him. A day after he expressed his distaste for the new gear’s safety standards: a career-worst eight-goal shelling at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
We’re not picking on Elliott. Through early November, goalies had combined for a .909 save percentage, the lowest in 10 years. The league averaged 6.18 goals per game, the most since 1995-96. Part of the surge in offense began last year with the NHL’s crackdown on slashing, which slightly increased power-play frequency and gave high-skill players m...
About the Author
Matt Larkin is a senior writer at The Hockey News and has been part of the team since 2011. He's your one-stop shop for deep-dive player interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy player rankings, player safety and hair tips. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey News Live and The Hockey News Podcast.