Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Quick Studies: Does Discipline Matter?

The general theory is that if you take fewer penalties, you hurt your team less and you are more likely to succeed. It makes sense, after all, to not waste valuable game time giving opponents better chances to score while keeping your best offensive players busy killing penalties or sitting on the bench. I decided to take a quick, cursory look at the penalties taken so far this playoff season.

Using our small playoff sample size to date, there doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation with the amount of minor penalties and how successful a team has been. (Only two teams took major penalties that didn’t involve fighting, so I converted those to 2.5 minor penalties taken)

Lindsay Lohan

If San Jose is eliminated and the table stays the same, then the 4 most disciplined teams will not be in the third round, while Anaheim is 4th worst and had little problem with Colorado.

One interesting stat of note is that the Carolina Hurricanes lead the NHL, by far, with 7 goaltender interference penalties. Now, I know the one called against Rod Brind’Amour was utter BS, but you have to figure that Carolina’s strategy involves running/rushing the opposing goalie hard and creating havoc. Ryan Miller better be prepared for an onslaught.

Some of those are Canes' strategy, and some are Marty playing the officials like a veterean should.
Instead of looking at minor penalties, how about seeing the difference between the number of pp/pk opportunities. Anaheim may take a lot of penalties, but their opposition seems to, too.
One thing I found interesting in my research is that Buffalo has been kind of lousy (15.4%) converting their power plays. They've got a league leading FIVE shorthanded goals, though.

This, of course, defies conventional wisdom which says going on the pp is good and the pk is bad.

Buffalo has done way more (statistically speaking) of their damage at even strength.
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