NHL notebook: GMs discuss ways to increase goals
• Scoring hasn’t necessarily taken a nosedive in the NHL, but it’s enough of a concern that general managers are debating how to generate more offense. Through Monday, an average of 5.32 goals are being scored this season, down slightly from 5.5 through Nov. 10, 2014, but down significantly from the 6.16 goals a game in the 2005-06 season. It’s not the numbers, but the causes of the decline that made it a hot topic at Tuesday’s general managers’ meeting. GMs also reviewed a couple of major rule changes: three-on-three overtime and coach’s challenges. Three-on-three overtime has been overwhelmingly effective, as 70 percent of games that go past regulation have been decided before the shootout. The first impression of the coach’s challenge system is good, even though GMs would like to fine-tune the system.
• Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will be out at least another week, coach Michel Therrien said Tuesday. The Canadiens are optimistic that last season’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goaltender and Hart Trophy recipient as MVP won’t be out for the long term. Therrien said Price sought a second opinion on his lower-body injury from a doctor Monday and got the same diagnosis team doctors had given him. The Canadiens (13-2-1) play Wednesday night at the Penguins and Saturday at home against Colorado.
• NHL.com reported Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk could make his season debut Friday against the Sharks. Datsyuk, 37, had surgery June 26 to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle.
• Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said defenseman Duncan Keith could return to the lineup as soon as this weekend. NHL.com reported Keith skated at practice Tuesday and will be a full participant at practice Wednesday. Keith, 32, had surgery Oct. 20 to repair a torn menisicus in his right knee.