NHL wagering: Is scoring finally normalizing?

The Maple Leafs and Red Wings combined for 17 goals on Saturday. Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Defense had no home in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 10-7 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. The teams cleared the 6.5-goal total at 9:19 of the second period. By the final buzzer, they had cleared it by 10.5 goals.

We've seen plenty of contests this season end with scores closer to an NFL game than an NHL game. The average goals per game per team is 3.07 through 835 games. It's a significant uptick over last season's 2.94 in 868 games.

The last season with this kind of offense was the 2005-06 season, which produced 3.08 goals per game per team. It was the season that followed the lockout cancellation of the 2004-05 campaign and one that ushered in a slew of rules changes and enforcement that upped the offense by over a half a goal per team per game. This season has been anomalous for different reasons -- specifically, significant schedule changes and lineup absences due to the COVID-19 pandemic.