NHL Teams Are Scoring The Most Goals Per Game In Nearly 30 Years

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins
Join our Telegram channel for our exclusive free betting tips, picks and offers.

NHL teams have been scoring at a very high rate this season.

In fact, teams are averaging the most goals per game since the 1993-94 season.

In 2021, NHL averaged 3.14 goals per game and in 2022, teams are averaging 3.17 goals per game.

Compared to the 2020-21 season, goals were up 6.37% in the 2021-22 season and 7.82% in the 2022-23 season.

Below, we will break down some key trends from the 2022-23 NHL season and discuss whether goals per game will continue to rise.

NHL Teams Are Averaging The Most Goals Per Game Since 1993-94 Season

NHL teams average 3.17 goals per game this season, the highest mark since the 1993-94 campaign.

All NHL teams have played between 20-25 games and the league has 42 players with 10 or more goals on the year. Jason Robertson is the current leader with 18 goals in just 22 games this season.

Hockey has evolved. The game is moving at faster pace and there are more skilled players across the league.

Teams are taking more shots on goal too.

This year, there have been an average of 31.4 shots against per team, the second-highest mark since 1970-71.

The only year shots against have been higher since the 1970-71 season was in 2017-18 (31.8 shots against per game).

While shots on goal are up, that is just one of the reasons that NHL teams are averaging the most goals per game in 29 years.

Power Play Percentage Has Reached Highest Mark Since 1982-83 Season

Teams are also improving at scoring with the man advantage.

As a result, the league-wide power play percentage has reached its highest mark (22.3%) since the 1982-83 season.

Power play percentage is up 7.58% compared to last season and 12.6% compared to the 2021-22 campaign.

A total of 23 teams own a conversion rate of 20% or better on the power play this year.

But that’s not all, power play opportunities are on the rise too, which means teams are also earning more scoring chances from high-danger areas.

Up 14.5% compared to last year, NHL teams are averaging 3.32 power play opportunities per game, the highest mark in 10 years (since 2012-13).

While the power play percentage and opportunities have increased, the penalty kill percentage has declined this year.

In 2022-23, the penalty kill percentage (77.73%) is at the fifth-lowest mark in NHL history and the lowest since the 1980-81 season.

With teams taking more shots and getting more opportunities with the man advantage, it is no surprise to see power play percentage on the rise and penalty kill percentage on the way down.

League-Wide Save Percentage Reaches Lowest Mark Since 2006-07 Season

With goals, power play percentage, and shots up, the league has seen save percentage drop to the lowest since the 2006-07 season.

To go along with save percentage being down, GAA is at 2.97, which is the highest mark since the 1994-95 season.

With shots on the rise, goaltenders are also facing a lot more pressure to make stops in key situations.

Goalies have faced the second-highest shots against in the 2022-23 season since the 1970-71 season.

With shots up and the league moving towards a much faster pace, goalies have struggled.

Will Goals Per Game Continue To Rise?

The NHL wants more goals scored. Fans tune in for a faster pace and higher-scoring games.

As a result, goals have been on the rise in each of the last two seasons.

Analytics is also driving some of the increase, as teams are taking more shots from high-danger areas, thus improving shot quality, especially on the power play. With that being said, the  more shots teams take on goal, the more goals will be scored.

The NHL is filled with skilled players who can score and pass and teams haven’t been shy about putting their best playmakers together on the same line.

Until defense begin to adjust, expect the goals per game trend to continue to rise in the NHL.

Arrow to top