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March 24, 2010
Illegal Curve
Is Discipline Beneficial?

by Richard Pollock

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Last week, we examined the best and worst players in the NHL at drawing and taking penalties. Additionally, we examined the worst penalty takers and their zone ratings, especially compared to their teammates.

This week, we are going to examine just how beneficial these penalties drawn and taken really are to these particular teamsótaking into account each teamís power play and penalty killing units.

Here are the updated top 30 players in terms of penalty drawing differential:


NAME	        POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN	Plus/Minus
DUSTINBROWN	RW	L.A.	9	41	32
NIKLASHAGMAN	LW	CGY	5	28	23
ZACHPARISE	LW	N.J.	9	31	22
PAVELDATSYUK	C	DET	3	25	22
RYANKESLER	C	VAN	13	32	19
PATRICKKANE	RW	CHI	6	24	18
DANIELCARCILLO	LW	PHI	15	32	17
PETRPRUCHA	RW	PHX	5	22	17
CALCLUTTERBUCK	RW	MIN	8	24	16
MARTINST. LOUIS	RW	T.B.	5	21	16
NIKOLAIKULEMIN	RW	TOR	3	19	16
MIKERICHARDS	C	PHI	12	27	15
DARRENHELM	C	DET	6	21	15
TOMWANDELL	C	DAL	7	21	14
BRYANLITTLE	C	ATL	4	18	14
BRANDONSUTTER	C	CAR	0	14	14
MASONRAYMOND	LW	VAN	10	23	13
DEVINSETOGUCHI	RW	S.J.	6	19	13
JORDINTOOTOO	RW	NSH	2	15	13
EVANDERKANE	C	ATL	20	32	12
RICKNASH	RW	CBJ	11	23	12
BOBBYRYAN	RW	ANA	8	20	12
MATTDUCHENE	C	COL	5	17	12
MILANMICHALEK	LW	OTT	1	13	12
JAMIEBENN	LW	DAL	11	22	11
JAROMEIGINLA	RW	CGY	9	20	11
JONSIM	        LW	NYI	9	20	11
VERNONFIDDLER	C	PHX	7	18	11
**Stats as of Saturday, March 20**

So, how much is this penalty drawing really worth to the above teams? Well, letís post the same chart with each teamís power play percentage included:


NAME	        POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN  Plus/Minus Power Play Percentage
DUSTINBROWN	RW	L.A.	9	41     32	  20.60%
NIKLASHAGMAN	LW	CGY	5	28     23	  16.10%
ZACHPARISE	LW	N.J.	9	31     22	  17.90%
PAVELDATSYUK	C	DET	3	25     22	  19.60%
RYANKESLER	C	VAN	13	32     19	  21.60%
PATRICKKANE	RW	CHI	6	24     18	  18.90%
DANIELCARCILLO	LW	PHI	15	32     17	  23.00%
PETRPRUCHA	RW	PHX	5	22     17	  15.10%
CALCLUTTERBUCK	RW	MIN	8	24     16	  18.40%
MARTINST. LOUIS	RW	T.B.	5	21     16	  18.80%
NIKOLAIKULEMIN	RW	TOR	3	19     16	  15.20%
MIKERICHARDS	C	PHI	12	27     15	  23.00%
DARRENHELM	C	DET	6	21     15	  19.60%
TOMWANDELL	C	DAL	7	21     14	  18.20%
BRYANLITTLE	C	ATL	4	18     14         16.90%
BRANDONSUTTER	C	CAR	0	14     14	  17.80%
MASONRAYMOND	LW	VAN	10	23     13	  21.60%
DEVINSETOGUCHI	RW	S.J.	6	19     13	  22.10%
JORDINTOOTOO	RW	NSH	2	15     13	  18.10%
EVANDERKANE	C	ATL	20	32     12	  16.90%
RICKNASH	RW	CBJ	11	23     12	  18.90%
BOBBYRYAN	RW	ANA	8	20     12	  19.00%
MATTDUCHENE	C	COL	5	17     12	  18.80%
MILANMICHALEK	LW	OTT	1	13     12	  15.20%
JAMIEBENN	LW	DAL	11	22     11	  18.20%
JAROMEIGINLA	RW	CGY	9	20     11	  16.10%
JONSIM	        LW	NYI	9	20     11	  16.50%
VERNONFIDDLER	C	PHX	7	18     11	  15.10%
**Stats as of Saturday, March 20**

Instead of looking at the stats sheets and glossing over which goals against came with which players in the box, letís assume that the above playersí teams scored at their exact team clip listed above. More plainly, letís assume that of the 32 power plays created this year by Dustin Brown, his team converted on 20.6% of its chances. Well, this would be worth a total of 6.6 goals so far this season for the Kings. That is a significant figure. If Brown scores 25 goals this season, in reality he could actually be worth over 30. If you go by the assumption that a win is worth six goals, then Dustin Brownís ability to draw penalties may be worth over one win to the Kings.

Letís take a look at the rest of the top 30 in this category:


NAME	        Plus/Minus	Power Play Percentage	Goals
DUSTINBROWN	32	        20.60%	                6.60
NIKLASHAGMAN	23	        16.10%	                3.70
ZACHPARISE	22	        17.90%	                3.90
PAVELDATSYUK	22	        19.60%	                4.30
RYANKESLER	19	        21.60%	                4.10
PATRICKKANE	18	        18.90%	                3.40
DANIELCARCILLO	17	        23.00%	                3.90
PETRPRUCHA	17	        15.10%	                2.60
CALCLUTTERBUCK	16	        18.40%	                3.00
MARTINST. LOUIS	16	        18.80%	                3.00
NIKOLAIKULEMIN	16	        15.20%	                2.40
MIKERICHARDS	15	        23.00%	                3.50
DARRENHELM	15	        19.60%	                2.90
TOMWANDELL	14	        18.20%	                2.50
BRYANLITTLE	14	        16.90%	                2.40
BRANDONSUTTER	14	        17.80%	                2.50
MASONRAYMOND	13	        21.60%	                2.80
DEVINSETOGUCHI	13	        22.10%	                2.90
JORDINTOOTOO	13	        18.10%	                2.40
EVANDERKANE	12	        16.90%	                2.00
RICKNASH	12	        18.90%	                2.30
BOBBYRYAN	12	        19.00%	                2.20
MATTDUCHENE	12	        18.80%	                2.30
MILANMICHALEK	12	        15.20%	                1.80
JAMIEBENN	11	        18.20%	                2.00
JAROMEIGINLA	11	        16.10%	                1.78
JONSIM	        11	        16.50%	                1.80
VERNONFIDDLER	11	        15.10%	                1.70
**Stats as of Saturday, March 20**

What about the reverse? First letís look at the chart of the 30 worst plus/minus players in terms of drawing/taking penalties, as well as look at their respective teamís penalty killing percentage.


NAME	          POS	TEAM    TAKEN	DRAWN	 Plus/Minus   Penalty Killing Percentage
KYLEQUINCEY	  D	COL	24	12	-12	      82.70%
MICHALROZSIVAL	  D	NYR	24	12	-12	      83.30%
MATTCARKNER	  D	OTT	21	9	-12	      83.90%
MARCSTAAL	  D	NYR	15	3	-12	      83.30%
RYANO'BYRNE	  D	MTL	14	2	-12	      83.40%
CORYSARICH	  D	CGY	13	1	-12	      83.30%
MIKECOMMODORE	  D	CBJ	13	1	-12	      82.30%
TODDBERTUZZI	  LW	DET	24	11	-13	      83.30%
RYANGETZLAF	  C	ANA	23	10	-13	      79.30%
IANWHITE	  D	CGY	18	5	-13	      83.30%
ROBBLAKE	  D	S.J	17	4	-13	      85.20%
ETHANMOREAU	  LW	EDM	16	3	-13	      77.10%
FILIPKUBA	  D	OTT	14	1	-13	      83.90%
SEANO'DONNELL	  D	L.A	13	0	-13	      81.40%
RENEBOURQUE	  LW	CGY	26	12	-14	      83.30%
SAMILEPISTO	  D	PHX	22	8	-14	      83.90%
ANDYSUTTON	  D	OTT	20	6	-14	      83.90%
KENTHUSKINS	  D	S.J	18	4	-14	      85.20%
CRAIGRIVET	  D	BUF	18	4	-14	      85.70%
CAMERONBARKER	  D	MIN	16	2	-14	      82.30%
NICKBOYNTON	  D	CHI	18	3	-15	      84.40%
MATTGREENE	  D	L.A	18	3	-15	      81.40%
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT D	ATL	22	6	-16	      80.50%
ROMANHAMRLIK	  D	MTL	18	2	-16	      83.40%
AARONWARD	  D	ANA	23	6	-17	      79.30%
SHANEO'BRIEN	  D	VAN	20	3	-17	      81.40%
JONIPITKANEN	  D	CAR	27	9	-18	      80.80%
ROBYNREGEHR	  D	CGY	22	3	-19	      83.30%
HALGILL	          D	MTL	22	3	-19	      83.40%
PAVELKUBINA	  D	ATL	21	1	-20	      80.50%
**Stats as of Saturday, March 20**

Just how much are, or more aptlyó how much should certain playerís penalties be hurting their teams?


NAME	           Plus/Minus	Penalty Killing Percentage  Goals
KYLEQUINCEY	  -12	        82.70%	                    2.1
MICHALROZSIVAL	  -12	        83.30%	                    2.0
MATTCARKNER	  -12	        83.90%	                    1.9
MARCSTAAL	  -12	        83.30%	                    2.0
RYANO'BYRNE	  -12	        83.40%	                    2.0
CORYSARICH	  -12	        83.30%	                    2.0
MIKECOMMODORE	  -12	        82.30%	                    2.1
TODDBERTUZZI	  -13	        83.30%	                    2.2
RYANGETZLAF	  -13	        79.30%	                    2.7
IANWHITE	  -13	        83.30%	                    2.2
ROBBLAKE	  -13	        85.20%	                    1.9
ETHANMOREAU	  -13	        77.10%	                    3.0
FILIPKUBA	  -13	        83.90%	                    2.1
SEANO'DONNELL	  -13	        81.40%	                    2.4
RENEBOURQUE	  -14	        83.30%	                    2.3
SAMILEPISTO	  -14	        83.90%	                    2.3
ANDYSUTTON	  -14	        83.90%	                    2.3
KENTHUSKINS	  -14	        85.20%	                    2.1
CRAIGRIVET	  -14	        85.70%                      2.0
CAMERONBARKER	  -14	        82.30%	                    2.5
NICKBOYNTON	  -15	        84.40%	                    2.3
MATTGREENE	  -15	        81.40%	                    2.8
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT -16	        80.50%	                    3.1
ROMANHAMRLIK	  -16	        83.40%	                    2.7
AARONWARD	  -17	        79.30%	                    3.5
SHANEO'BRIEN	  -17	        81.40%	                    3.2
JONIPITKANEN	  -18	        80.80%	                    3.5
ROBYNREGEHR	  -19	        83.30%	                    3.2
HALGILL	          -19	        83.40%	                    3.2
PAVELKUBINA	  -20	        80.50%	                    3.9
**Stats as of Saturday, March 20**

If you look from top to bottom in terms of penalties drawn and penalties taken there is a swing of 10.5 goals through this past weekendís game. Considering how difficult it is for teams to find 20 goal scorers, it sure is interesting to see that a player who draws a lot of penalties compared to a player who takes a lot of penalties can actually result in such a significant swing in goals for and goals against. Never mind the fact that players drawing penalties place the opposing team at a two minute disadvantage in terms of generating goals for and that the players taking penalties hurt their teams chances of scoring for the next two minutes.

Remember, as evidenced last week, there are many factors at play when it comes to taking penalties and some players are put into far more favorable situations than others. However, in fairly simple terms, drawing a lot of penalties and taking too many can create a considerable goal differential. For example, Rene Bourque has 22 goals this season and Dustin Brown has 17 goals; however, when you take into account their penalty taking, Bourque actually should account for 19.7 goals this season for Calgary and Brown should account for 23.6 goals this season for Los Angeles. Quite a swing isnít it?

Thanks to Gabe Desjardins for the terrific statistics

Richard Pollock is Editor for the hockey website Illegal Curve.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Player Power Rankings (03/23)
<< Previous Column
Illegal Curve (03/17)
Next Column >>
Illegal Curve (04/07)
Next Article >>
Dropping The Puck (03/25)

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