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The Puck Stops Here

Penalties In The Stanley Cup Finals

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

Penalty Minutes In The Stanley Cup Finals
Total PIMs
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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I don’t know if referees have ‘lost control’ so much as Boston have simply been sore losers all year and Vancouver has about 5 more shift-disturbers than they need, all of whom take dumb penalties in games that aren’t close.

All that finger-in-the-face stuff was caused by Mike Murphy’s inaction (and later corrected by phone calls from the same to the two GMs). There’s nothing the refs can do when hockey ops (the organization above them) initially looks at the situation, shrugs and goes back to sleep, which is what happened.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/14/11 at 11:17 PM ET


It’s been a poorly managed series all around.  I mean, Sedin getting a penalty for getting punched in the face?  All that finger waving and no unsportsmanlike conduct penalties?  Crosschecks are legal??  No penalty on the illegal can opener move by Boychuk?|

Of course something is fishy too, it ain’t just a mean series, calls have been borderline biased every game, some outright blatantly “I’m going to get that guy” calls.

Posted by Doug on 06/15/11 at 03:48 PM ET


Didn’t you know the NHL rulebook exempts Boston from crosschecking penalties?

Posted by pirate of the perineum from dallas, tx on 06/17/11 at 01:57 AM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com