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April 7, 2010
Illegal Curve
Penalty-Killing Costs Goals

by Richard Pollock

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For the past few weeks, we have looked at penalty drawing/taking and its effect on a player’s individual production—particularly two weeks ago, where we looked at how many goals a player could be responsible for, taking into account his penalty drawing/taking totals. In passing, I mentioned the fact that taking penalties not only puts a particular player’s team down a man, but that it also means two minutes of short-handed play, which clearly cuts into his team’s scoring ability.

Before looking at this effect, let’s first look at the updated top 30 and bottom 30 NHL players when it comes to penalty drawing/taking.

Here are the top 30 players in the NHL this season in terms of penalty drawing versus penalty taking:


PLAYER           POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN	+/-
DUSTINBROWN	 RW	L.A	10	45	35
ZACHPARISE	 LW	N.J	11	37	26
PAVELDATSYUK	 C 	DET	3	28	25
DANIELCARCILLO	 LW	PHI	16	40	24
NIKLASHAGMAN	 LW	CGY	5	29	24
MIKERICHARDS	 C 	PHI	13	33	20
PATRICKKANE	 RW	CHI	7	27	20
MARTINST. LOUIS	 RW	T.B	5	25	20
RYANKESLER	 C 	VAN	16	34	18
PETRPRUCHA	 RW	PHX	6	24	18
DARRENHELM	 C 	DET	7	24	17
BRYANLITTLE	 C 	ATL	5	22	17
NIKOLAIKULEMIN	 RW	TOR	5	22	17
DEVINSETOGUCHI	 RW	S.J	6	22	16
CALCLUTTERBUCK	 RW	MIN	10	25	15
MIKHAILGRABOVSKI C 	TOR	3	18	15
BRANDONSUTTER	 C 	CAR	0	15	15
MASONRAYMOND	 LW	VAN	12	26	14
TOMWANDELL	 C 	DAL	7	21	14
MATTDUCHENE	 C 	COL	6	20	14
VLADIMIRZHARKOV	 RW	N.J	1	15	14
RICKNASH	 RW	CBJ	13	26	13
BOBBYRYAN	 RW	ANA	10	23	13
JAROMEIGINLA	 RW	CGY	9	22	13
JORDINTOOTOO	 RW	NSH	4	17	13
TUOMORUUTU	 RW	CAR	12	24	12
R.J.UMBERGER	 C 	CBJ	7	19	12
ANDREWBRUNETTE	 LW	MIN	5	17	12
MILANMICHALEK	 LW	OTT	1	13	12
EVANDERKANE	 C 	ATL	21	32	11

Here are the bottom 30 players in the NHL this season in terms of penalty drawing versus penalty taking:


PLAYER            POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN	 +/-
JACKHILLEN	  D 	NYI	17	5	-12
ETHANMOREAU	  LW	EDM	17	5	-12
MARCSTAAL	  D 	NYR	16	4	-12
CORYSARICH	  D 	CGY	15	3	-12
STEVEEMINGER	  D 	ANA	14	2	-12
OSKARSBARTULIS	  D 	PHI	13	1	-12
RENEBOURQUE	  LW	CGY	27	14	-13
STEPHANEROBIDAS	  D 	DAL	20	7	-13
CHRISPRONGER	  D 	PHI	19	6	-13
IANWHITE	  D 	CGY	18	5	-13
KENTHUSKINS	  D 	S.J	18	5	-13
ROBBLAKE	  D 	S.J	18	5	-13
SEANO'DONNELL	  D 	L.A	15	2	-13
FILIPKUBA	  D 	OTT	14	1	-13
RYANGETZLAF	  C 	ANA	24	10	-14
CRAIGRIVET	  D 	BUF	20	6	-14
RYANO'BYRNE	  D 	MTL	17	3	-14
SAMILEPISTO	  D 	PHX	23	8	-15
MATTGREENE	  D 	L.A	19	4	-15
ROMANHAMRLIK	  D 	MTL	19	3	-16
NICKBOYNTON	  D 	CHI	19	3	-16
CAMERONBARKER	  D 	MIN	18	2	-16
MIKECOMMODORE	  D 	CBJ	17	1	-16
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT D 	ATL	24	7	-17
AARONWARD	  D 	ANA	24	6	-18
SHANEO'BRIEN	  D 	VAN	21	3	-18
ANDYSUTTON	  D 	OTT	25	6	-19
JONIPITKANEN	  D 	CAR	29	9	-20
HALGILL	          D 	MTL	24	3	-21
ROBYNREGEHR	  D 	CGY	24	3	-21
PAVELKUBINA	  D 	ATL	22	1	-21

Here is how the players’ production changes when taking into account their respective teams’ power play efficiency:


PLAYER           POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN	+/-	PP%	RESULT
DUSTINBROWN	 RW	L.A	10	45	35	21.0	7.350
ZACHPARISE	 LW	N.J	11	37	26	18.3	4.758
PAVELDATSYUK	 C 	DET	3	28	25	19.3	4.825
DANIELCARCILLO	 LW	PHI	16	40	24	21.5	5.160
NIKLASHAGMAN	 LW	CGY	5	29	24	16.3	3.912
MIKERICHARDS	 C 	PHI	13	33	20	21.5	4.300
PATRICKKANE	 RW	CHI	7	27	20	18.0	3.600
MARTINST. LOUIS	 RW	T.B	5	25	20	18.9	3.780
RYANKESLER	 C 	VAN	16	34	18	21.3	3.834
PETRPRUCHA	 RW	PHX	6	24	18	15.1	2.718
DARRENHELM	 C 	DET	7	24	17	19.3	3.281
BRYANLITTLE	 C 	ATL	5	22	17	16.6	2.822
NIKOLAIKULEMIN	 RW	TOR	5	22	17	14.2	2.414
DEVINSETOGUCHI	 RW	S.J	6	22	16	21.4	3.424
CALCLUTTERBUCK	 RW	MIN	10	25	15	18.9	2.835
MIKHAILGRABOVSKI C 	TOR	3	18	15	14.2	2.130
BRANDONSUTTER	 C 	CAR	0	15	15	16.8	2.520
MASONRAYMOND	 LW	VAN	12	26	14	21.3	2.982
TOMWANDELL	 C 	DAL	7	21	14	18.7	2.618
MATTDUCHENE	 C 	COL	6	20	14	18.5	2.590
VLADIMIRZHARKOV	 RW	N.J	1	15	14	18.3	2.562
RICKNASH	 RW	CBJ	13	26	13	18.5	2.405
BOBBYRYAN	 RW	ANA	10	23	13	20.5	2.665
JAROMEIGINLA	 RW	CGY	9	22	13	16.3	2.119
JORDINTOOTOO	 RW	NSH	4	17	13	16.4	2.132
TUOMORUUTU	 RW	CAR	12	24	12	16.8	2.016
R.J.UMBERGER	 C 	CBJ	7	19	12	18.5	2.220
ANDREWBRUNETTE	 LW	MIN	5	17	12	18.9	2.268
MILANMICHALEK	 LW	OTT	1	13	12	18.9	2.268
EVANDERKANE	 C 	ATL	21	32	11	16.6	1.826

Here is how the players’ production changes when taking into account their respective teams’ penalty killing ability:


PLAYER            POS	TEAM	TAKEN	DRAWN	 +/-	PK%	 RESULT
JACKHILLEN	  D 	NYI	17	5	-12	76.7	-2.796
ETHANMOREAU	  LW	EDM	17	5	-12	77.9	-2.652
MARCSTAAL	  D 	NYR	16	4	-12	84.1	-1.908
CORYSARICH	  D 	CGY	15	3	-12	82.3	-2.124
STEVEEMINGER	  D 	ANA	14	2	-12	79.5	-2.460
OSKARSBARTULIS	  D 	PHI	13	1	-12	83.0	-2.040
RENEBOURQUE	  LW	CGY	27	14	-13	82.3	-2.301
STEPHANEROBIDAS	  D 	DAL	20	7	-13	77.4	-2.938
CHRISPRONGER	  D 	PHI	19	6	-13	83.0	-2.210
IANWHITE	  D 	CGY	18	5	-13	82.3	-2.301
KENTHUSKINS	  D 	S.J	18	5	-13	84.9	-1.963
ROBBLAKE	  D 	S.J	18	5	-13	84.9	-1.963
SEANO'DONNELL	  D 	L.A	15	2	-13	80.1	-2.574
FILIPKUBA	  D 	OTT	14	1	-13	84.8	-1.976
RYANGETZLAF	  C 	ANA	24	10	-14	79.5	-2.870
CRAIGRIVET	  D 	BUF	20	6	-14	86.2	-1.932
RYANO'BYRNE	  D 	MTL	17	3	-14	83.2	-2.352
SAMILEPISTO	  D 	PHX	23	8	-15	84.6	-2.310
MATTGREENE	  D 	L.A	19	4	-15	80.1	-2.985
ROMANHAMRLIK	  D 	MTL	19	3	-16	83.2	-2.688
NICKBOYNTON	  D 	CHI	19	3	-16	84.8	-2.432
CAMERONBARKER	  D 	MIN	18	2	-16	82.5	-2.800
MIKECOMMODORE	  D 	CBJ	17	1	-16	81.8	-2.912
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT D 	ATL	24	7	-17	81.6	-3.128
AARONWARD	  D 	ANA	24	6	-18	79.5	-3.690
SHANEO'BRIEN	  D 	VAN	21	3	-18	81.0	-3.420
ANDYSUTTON	  D 	OTT	25	6	-19	84.8	-2.888
JONIPITKANEN	  D 	CAR	29	9	-20	80.2	-3.960
HALGILL	          D 	MTL	24	3	-21	83.2	-3.528
ROBYNREGEHR	  D 	CGY	24	3	-21	82.3	-3.717
PAVELKUBINA	  D 	ATL	22	1	-21	81.6	-3.864

Now that we have talked about a player’s plus/minus and how much offense for/against that should translate to based on the percentages, let’s consider the opposite side of the coin. Remember, two minutes on the penalty kill requires two minutes of play to prevent the other team from scoring; however, it also means two minutes of very little in the way of chances for your squad. As a result, let’s look at how much penalty killing cuts into the listed teams’ chances to score goals as compared to those same chances at even strength.

Here are the goal scoring rates per 60 minutes for each team at even strength as compared to goal scoring rates per 60 minutes while short-handed:

Legend:

ESG/60: Goals per 60 mins at ES

PKG/60: Goals per 60 mins at PK


PLAYER            POS	TEAM	ESG/60  PKG/60	DIFFERENCE
JACKHILLEN	  D 	NYI	2.3	1.0	1.3
ETHANMOREAU	  LW	EDM	2.3	0.7	1.6
MARCSTAAL	  D 	NYR	2.4	0.6	1.8
CORYSARICH	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2
STEVEEMINGER	  D 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5
OSKARSBARTULIS	  D 	PHI	2.4	0.7	1.7
RENEBOURQUE	  LW	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2
STEPHANEROBIDAS	  D 	DAL	2.4	1.3	1.1
CHRISPRONGER	  D 	PHI	2.4	0.7	1.7
IANWHITE	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2
KENTHUSKINS	  D 	S.J	2.8	1.0	1.8
ROBBLAKE	  D 	S.J	2.8	1.0	1.8
SEANO'DONNELL	  D 	L.A	2.4	0.5	1.9
FILIPKUBA	  D 	OTT	2.5	0.8	1.7
RYANGETZLAF	  C 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5
CRAIGRIVET	  D 	BUF	2.5	0.6	1.9
RYANO'BYRNE	  D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6
SAMILEPISTO	  D 	PHX	2.4	0.4	2.0
MATTGREENE	  D 	L.A	2.4	0.5	1.9
ROMANHAMRLIK	  D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6
NICKBOYNTON	  D 	CHI	2.7	1.7	1.0
CAMERONBARKER	  D 	MIN	2.2	0.4	1.8
MIKECOMMODORE	  D 	CBJ	2.3	0.6	1.7
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT D 	ATL	2.8	1.0	1.8
AARONWARD	  D 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5
SHANEO'BRIEN	  D 	VAN	2.9	1.0	1.9
ANDYSUTTON	  D 	OTT	2.5	0.8	1.7
JONIPITKANEN	  D 	CAR	2.3	0.9	1.4
HALGILL   	  D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6
ROBYNREGEHR	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2
PAVELKUBINA	  D 	ATL	2.8	1.0	1.8

As you can see, the rate difference in terms of scoring even strength and short-handed is quite significant. Here are the above numbers in terms of percentages—meaning how much worse of a percentage chance a team has to score when down for two minutes as opposed to playing at even strength:

Legend:

ESG/60: Goals per 60 mins at ES

PKG/60: Goals per 60 mins at PK

%ScoringDecrease: Percentage decrease in scoring


PLAYER            POS	TEAM    ESG/60  PKG/60  DIFFERENCE %ScoringDecrease
JACKHILLEN	  D 	NYI	2.3	1.0	1.3	   56%
ETHANMOREAU	  LW	EDM	2.3	0.7	1.6	   69%
MARCSTAAL	  D 	NYR	2.4	0.6	1.8	   75%
CORYSARICH	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2	   54%
STEVEEMINGER	  D 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5	   62%
OSKARSBARTULIS	  D 	PHI	2.4	0.7	1.7	   70%
RENEBOURQUE	  LW	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2	   54%
STEPHANEROBIDAS	  D 	DAL	2.4	1.3	1.1	   45%
CHRISPRONGER	  D 	PHI	2.4	0.7	1.7	   70%
IANWHITE	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2	   54%
KENTHUSKINS	  D 	S.J	2.8	1.0	1.8	   64%
ROBBLAKE	  D 	S.J	2.8	1.0	1.8	   64%
SEANO'DONNELL	  D 	L.A	2.4	0.5	1.9	   79%
FILIPKUBA	  D 	OTT	2.5	0.8	1.7	   68%
RYANGETZLAF	  C 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5	   62%
CRAIGRIVET	  D 	BUF	2.5	0.6	1.9	   76%
RYANO'BYRNE	  D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6	   76%
SAMILEPISTO	  D 	PHX	2.4	0.4	2.0	   83%
MATTGREENE	  D 	L.A	2.4	0.5	1.9	   79%
ROMANHAMRLIK	  D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6	   76%
NICKBOYNTON	  D 	CHI	2.7	1.7	1.0	   37%
CAMERONBARKER	  D 	MIN	2.2	0.4	1.8	   81%
MIKECOMMODORE	  D 	CBJ	2.3	0.6	1.7	   73%
CHRISTOPHSCHUBERT D 	ATL	2.8	1.0	1.8	   64%
AARONWARD	  D 	ANA	2.4	0.9	1.5	   62%
SHANEO'BRIEN	  D 	VAN	2.9	1.0	1.9	   65%
ANDYSUTTON	  D 	OTT	2.5	0.8	1.7	   68%
JONIPITKANEN	  D 	CAR	2.3	0.9	1.4	   60%
HALGILL	          D 	MTL	2.1	0.5	1.6	   76%
ROBYNREGEHR	  D 	CGY	2.2	1.0	1.2	   54%
PAVELKUBINA	  D 	ATL	2.8	1.0	1.8	   64%

You can really see how important penalty taking is over the course of a game and, more importantly, over the course of a season. Percentages dictate that Dustin Brown’s penalty taking ability should lead to more than seven goals in a season. Conversely, based on the percentages, Flames forward Rene Bourque—a forward amongst a list dominated by defensemen—should cost his team 2.3 goals against with his lack of discipline. Moreover, when Bourque puts the Flames down a man, Calgary’s odds of scoring decrease by about 54 percent from even strength levels to penalty killing levels. So, not only does Bourque hurt his team’s goals against, he also hurts his team’s goals for.

The next time someone says to you, "Well, at least that was a good penalty," maybe you want to speak up and make them think twice.

As always, a big thank you to Gabe Desjardins for the statistics you see above

Richard Pollock is Editor for the hockey website Illegal Curve.

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