Sometimes when you notice a trend happening in the NHL, it’s indicitive of the way the game is changing.

For example, I think we see less players dumping the puck in these days, and less d-man going glass-and-out before even looking for a pass. There’s more possession time.

Other times, a trend is just a fluke series of events. Right now, I think that’s what we’re seeing. I guess there’s a very small chance that the current style of goaltending causes this and it is a real trend, but….either way, I have to ask:

What the hell is going on with goaltenders right now? Are 6 an 7 hole suddenly fantastic places to shoot? Why can’t anyone seems to hang on to the damn puck?

Here’s an example of what I’m thinking of (thanks to theScore video department for clipping this for me). It doesn’t always lead to a goal (as attested by the play below), but in the three videos beneath this one, you see how dangerous this can be.

Jonas Hiller – squeeze that damn puck.

*****

 Antti Niemi – Ryan Callahan

Amazing effort and a great goal by Callahan, but that pucks never lying there if Niemi just hangs on to that.

“Really, you can’t give that a squeeze, man?”

***

Pekka Rinne – Patrick Kane

I know some of you are gonna say “but that’s the perfect shot placement!” Fine. But that’s an absolute muffin of a shot. Rinne could have reached over and caught it with his glove hand, sans glove.

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Dan Ellis – Ryan Johanssen

Not exactly backhand shelf – after Johanssen runs himself out of real estate, makes no fakes, and throws a panic backhander on net, Ellis lets it through the same armpit hole featured in the videos above. These are not low blocker snipes. These are armpit hole errors.

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The above four videos are from the last four or five days, and I’ve seen it plenty more.

What are your thoughts? Is the butterfly to blame? Or did I just happen to be watching a bunch of games where this happened?

I get coincidence. But this seems to be happening an awful lot lately.