Sports

NHL scoring remains stagnant despite league efforts

  • In this Dec. 27, 2015 photo, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella signals goaltender Curtis McElhinney to skate to the bench for an extra skater during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. With a core of young, talented players secured for the next few years, the Blue Jackets try to look past a dismal 2015-16 season. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

    In this Dec. 27, 2015 photo, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella signals goaltender Curtis McElhinney to skate to the bench for an extra skater during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. With a core of young, talented players secured for the next few years, the Blue Jackets try to look past a dismal 2015-16 season. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, is congratulated by John Carlson, right, and Brooks Orpik, left, after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, is congratulated by John Carlson, right, and Brooks Orpik, left, after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby defects the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby defects the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

For the fourth consecutive 82-game season, the NHL has failed to top 6,600 goals scored.

More troubling is this year's total is a whopping 858 goals fewer than 2005-06, when the NHL revamped its rules to eliminate clutching and grabbing in a bid to open up offense.

What's happened since is coaches have adapted to the new rules by devising ways to clog up the area in front of the net, and teaching defenders to steer puck-carriers toward the boards without drawing interference penalties.

Another issue, which the league is set to address, is goalies wearing oversized equipment. The NHL is expected to introduce new rules next season in which the equipment, including the jersey, a goalie wears is based on a player's individual size.