If the lockout ends soon, we might see an increase in scoring — and not because of any rule change.
Roughly two-thirds of projected NHL starting goaltenders haven’t found a temporary team to play for during the lockout, according to an Edmonton Journal report. That might leave them rusty compared to the NHL’s superstar forwards, many of whom are staying sharp by playing in Europe.
To make matters worse for the netminders, if we get a new CBA soon, they might be asked to jump straight into the regular season before even getting a chance to participate in a single preseason game.
“When we get this resolved, I won’t have much time to get comfortable,” Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. “I’ve never gone this long without playing. I’ve been trying to get a job in Europe for a while. Last week, I was packed up and ready to go and then it fell through at the last minute.”
For now, guys like Dubnyk will attempt to stay sharp by participating in player-run practices, but as Dubnyk pointed out, that can only take netminders so far.