Bylsma: NHL should create more offense by making teams play more defense

March 7, 2017
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The National Hockey League and its general managers are hard at work at their annual meetings in Boca Raton, Florida this week. On Monday, the general managers got together and were instructed to brainstorm some ideas as to what the game of hockey could look like in 5-10 years, and what changes could be made to the game to continue to its growth and popularity.

The league's general managers came up with some ideas such a 3-2-1 point system, not allowing defensemen to leave their feet to block a shot, bringing back the red line into play, and also eliminating the faceoff circles and make one faceoff spot in each end.

While Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray is in Florida, head coach Dan Bylsma is gearing up for Tuesday night's matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers at the KeyBank Center.

While on with Howard Simon and Jeremy White for his weekly Tuesday visit, Bylsma was asked about how he would change the game to possibly create more offense. One way Bylsma believes that scoring could increase is if the league makes more teams play defensively in each game. How does that work? More penalties.

"I think [the NHL] should make us play defense more," Bylsma said. "I'm really for making us play defense more. Two minute penalties [go] the entire two minutes, call more penalties [which allows for] more ways for the puck to go into the net. We had the high stick in Pittsburgh and I think it was a high stick, but there was no way to overturn it. Generally speaking, unless you got your stick straight up in the air, if a goal goes into the net it should count. We'd have a few more goals and we'd have more offense. If we had more powerplays and the guy had to sit in [the penalty box] no matter what for two minutes, kind of like a five-minute major, you'd give the powerplay more opportunities and you'd have more goals. I'm all for having more goals in the game."

The Sabres are currently tied for the top-ranking powerplay in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring on 22.9-percent of their man-advantage opportunities. While the Sabres have a high-ranking powerplay, Bylsma still feels as though sometimes his team does not get calls in his favor on a regular basis. Especially to forward Jack Eichel, who is currently riding a 10-game point streak.

"You feel like you could call four penalties against Jack every night, and you don't get the calls," Bylsma said of his second-year center. "Consistency is really the thing as coaches you really get hoarse about on the bench. If you know nothing is going to get called, you're fine with it. If you have a referee that calls three penalties a game and you know that referee, you're kind of fine with that. But it's the inconsistencies. I feel like Jack should [draw] a few more calls."

You can hear Bylsma's entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below: