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Too Many Penalties

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

Like other players in the NHL's "bubble," Ryan Hartman of the Minnesota Wild watched a lot of postseason hockey during the first few days of the restarted 2019-20 season. He couldn't help but notice an obvious trend during his viewing binge.

"A lot -- a lot -- of penalties were being called," he said. "There wasn't much getting by."

That wasn't just perception. Through the first two days of the Stanley Cup postseason, featuring both round-robin and qualification-round games, teams averaged 13:00 penalty minutes. That's higher than the average for the first round of the playoffs in 2019 (10:05), 2018 (11:18) and 2017 (8:28). Through Monday's games, that average dropped to 12:26 per team. But that was still a higher average than the NHL had seen in the first two games in each of the past three opening rounds.

Tune in to some of these games, and there's a good chance you would have been watching someone with the man advantage. The Carolina Hurricanes' first game against the New York Rangers had 14 power plays. The Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames, as well as the Nashville Predators and the Arizona Coyotes, had a total of 11 power plays in Game 1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Steeb's avatar

Two reasons for this leap to mind:

A> Nobody is in game shape, and they’re jumping directly into the playoffs. And the ice (by some accounts) is less than ideal.

B> Remember the first round in ‘18 and ‘19? NOTHING was being called, and it turned into the Calgary Stampede out there for two weeks. And when the zebras don’t call ANYthing, the players will start enforcing the rules as they see fit. By the end of the first round, post-whistle scrums and line brawls were the norm, bkz the refs had completely lost control. Round two was called a lot tighter in both years (I’d be curious to see those PIM numbers), and things got back to hockey rather than wrestlemania.

Posted by Steeb on 08/05/20 at 11:39 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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