Monday, June 28, 2010

Taking penalties while on the power play

There's nothing quite as deflating as going on the power play, only to have the advantage end because of a penalty. Special teams are a crucial part of the NHL regular season (not to mention the playoffs), and it is important to make the most of those chances. Losing them because of a preventable action is a recipe for losing points in the standings.

As a fan, there are few things that can happen during the game that are quite as depressing.

First, let me say that while I removed all fighting and misconduct penalties, I did not remove or coincidental minor penalties. My gut feeling (without checking) is that you normally don't see coincidental minors while on the power play.

Either way, the long and the short of it is that the data may not be perfect, but it gives us some grounds for discussion.

Some teams are far more guilty than others, and some players stand out above the rest. Here are the top 10 teams in the NHL in taking penalties while on the power play, thus negating their advantage:
Team #
Coyotes 33
Sabres 33
Stars 33
Rangers 32
Canucks 30
Blues 29
Senators 28
Penguins 27
Sharks 27
Oilers 27

Here are the players that have taken a penalty while their team was on the power play 6 or more times this year:
Player #
Steve Ott 9
Mikael Samuelsson 8
Joe Pavelski 7
Scott Hartnell 7
Corey Perry 6
Kristian Huselius 6
Todd Bertuzzi 6
Marek Zidlicky 6
Adrian Aucoin 6
Brendan Morrow 6
Rene Bourque 6
Dustin Byfuglien 6
Bill Guerin 6

A few quick notes:
  • Some of these guys took double-minors, so while that officially lowers their count by one, I think it's still double-dumb.
  • Hartnell did two of these in one game, with the second one being a double-minor. He just loses his head sometimes.
  • Guerin leads the list of Penguins, but Geno had 5 and Sid had 4.

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