Crosby disagrees with Babcock on bigger nets, but wants goalie gear reduced

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Sidney Crosby doesn’t like Mike Babcock’s idea to make NHL nets bigger. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ superstar does think there’s a way to increase goal-scoring.

“I’m kind of a traditionalist,” Crosby told PHT on Wednesday. “I would rather see the goalies get smaller equipment before the nets get bigger. I’d rather try that. But I’m all for more goals. However you want to do it.”

Reducing the size of goalie equipment is, of course, not a new idea. In fact, the NHL has made changes before.

But even Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury concedes more could be done.

“I think there’s some stuff in the goalie gear they could maybe round up so guys aren’t so boxy and big,” he said.

Fleury, not surprisingly, agrees with Crosby on keeping the nets the same size.

“I think the nets have been the same for so many years,” he said. “Growing up in the same nets, same angles. It would be a little weird to change that.”

Yesterday, Babcock reiterated his argument that the nets should be made bigger to counteract the increasing size of goalies.

“It’s impossible to score,” he said. “All you gotta do is a math equation. You go to 1980 when the puck went in the net. You got the average size of the goalies in the NHL and the average size of the net. You keep growing the net bigger, that would make the game the same. We change the game every year because we don’t want to change the game. The net’s too small for the size of the goalies. Period.”

The NHL has not given any indication that it’s seriously concerned about goal-scoring. In March, commissioner Gary Bettman said that fans “should continue to enjoy the game principally the way it’s being played.”