by PuckStopsHere on 06/16/11 at 10:51 PM ET
This year’s Stanley Cup finals have been different from recent finals for several reasons. One of which is penalties. This has been the most penalized finals series since the lockout (I chose that as a starting date because it is the start of an era and because penalty totals are hard to find online for older series) by a large margin.
In fact here are the numbers:
June 16th: This post is updated for game seven
PIMs per game
Clearly we have almost two times the penalty minutes per game of any of the other final series in the recent era. They have about three times the penalty minutes per game of the most recent two series - Chicago vs. Philadelphia (remember when they were the Broad Street Bullies?) and the most recent Pittsburgh vs. Detroit series.
Part of the explanation for this penalty minute total is that a lot of minutes have been “garbage minutes” at the end of a blowout when the result of today’s game is not in question. We have two teams who are very willing to intimidate one another at the expense of high penalty totals and we have referees who have lost control in some of the games.
Update: Only six penalty minutes were recorded in game seven. This reduced the average penalty minutes per game from 56.2 to 49.0 in the series. This shows that a large part of the penalties were an attempt to intimidate opponents in order to gain an advantage in the future games. This was not a motivation anymore in game seven. At the end of game seven were “garbage minutes” where it was clear Boston had won.
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