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.