The NHL tested a prototype for a new net in Toronto at a Maple Leafs practice this week.
Unlike the radically shaped larger goals that were designed several years ago, the new test model relies on differently shaped goalposts to promote scoring. The frame of the goal remains sized at six feet by four feet, but the familiar round posts are oval-shaped instead. The long, flatter side of the oval is on the inside of the frame. The theory is that the flat surface will allow pucks to bounce in off of them, rather than hit the outside of a round post and bounce out.
"Pucks were supposed to be bouncing in more than they were bouncing out and I don't know - I kind of found it the other way around," said Leafs' forward John Mitchell. "It all depends on the angle that you shoot it on. The posts and the crossbar all funnel in towards the net but you have to be kind of shooting straight on from the net in order for it to work."
NHL vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy observed and videotaped the nets in action, and plans to present his findings to league executives in time.
"This is being looked at to give offence an advantage," Murphy told the Globe and Mail. "Maybe it's just the crossbar that makes a difference. We'll see."
The idea was first suggested by Anaheim Ducks goaltending coach François Allaire five years ago.