Boston — If you thought there were more goals scored than usual in the NHL last month, you’re right.
The 1,317 goals scored in November 2018 — in 216 games — was the third-most goals of any calendar month in NHL history.
November only trailed March 2018 (1,434 goals in 235 games) and March 2006 (1,375 goals in 226 games).
The Red Wings weren’t surprised by the statistic.
The wide-open play, comparatively speaking, to previous years, the array of high-end offensive talent around the NHL, aggressiveness of teams, tweaks to the goaltending equipment — they all play a part to it, according to opinions in the Red Wings’ locker room.
“There’s probably a lot of things that go in that,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “You’re seeing higher scoring games, for sure.”
Abdelkader sees a game that is suited to offensively skilled players as a major reason for the uptick in scoring.
“How the game is called,” Abdelkader said. “Guys are freer to skate around and you can’t interfere or hold guys up as much.
“And the skill level in the league has gotten better and better. That plays into it.”
What coach Jeff Blashill sees, foremost, is an aggressive mentality from teams.
“I’d say number one, without question, in my mind, it’s because everybody plays so on top of you,” Blashill said. “Everybody is investing so many people on the forecheck. It’s not two guys, it’s five guys, and the defense is coming down the wall, and F3’s (the third offensive forward in the zone) are right on top of your third guy, and you create tons of turnovers that way and you get opportunities to score.
“The reverse of that is when you invest that many people, if you get pucks behind (the defense), you’re giving up odd man-rushes.
“It’s just how aggressive the majority of teams are playing.”
There also is the large amount of young offensive players who enter the NHL ready to make an impact, and are talented enough to be a presence in lineups.
Though these young players can produce offense, there is a tendency, too, to give up chances the other way.
“Younger players (are taking on) more risk and sometimes it’s risk and reward,” Blashill said. “With young players, they go right after it and they force it (the action).”
No long memory
The last itme the Wings’ played in Boston, in October, the Bruins scored with two seconds left in the game to close out an 8-2 victory.
If most other sports, that type of incident might be remembered the opposition in some way.
But this being hockey, it’s not quite like that.
“You’re going to keep playing no matter what the score is,” Abdelkader said. “I’ve been in a few of those types of games and it’s maybe different than other sports, but in hockey you have to continue playing.
“If you don’t go (keep playing hard), you’re going to risk getting hurt. You have to continue to play.
“We’re not happy with that result. We want to clear that from our memory. The best way to do that is go out and have a good game.”
Avalanche at Red Wings
Faceoff: 7 p.m., Sunday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM
Outlook: Colorado (15-6-5, 35 points) hasn’t lost in regulation time in the last 10 games (8-0-2). ... Linemates RW Mikko Rantanen (32 assists, 43 points) and C Nathan MacKinnon (18 goals, 41 points) are dominating offensively, with Rantanen leading the NHL in assists and points.