Kukla's Korner

The Confluence

A Deep Dive into the Penguins’ Fighting Majors

One of the main topics of discussion as a result of the Penguins/Islanders fiasco last Friday night was the fact that the Penguins lead the league in penalty minutes, major penalties and fighting majors, which they still do with 1113, 63 and 59 respectively.

I was really curious into the individual game circumstances that resulted in that league-leading number of fights by the Penguins, such as were the Pens winning at the time, prompting the opposition to try to give themselves a kickstart by dropping the gloves?  Or vice versa?

So I went through each game of the Penguins’ season to date, here’s what I came up with:

Of the Penguins’ 59 fighting majors so far, here are the game circumstances as they occurred:

- 20 times in which the Penguins were winning.

- 18 times in which the Penguins were losing.  NOTE: 7 of these occurred in Friday night’s Islanders game.

- 21 times in which the game was tied.  NOTE:  The vast majority of these were when the game was scoreless.

Also, I annotated the times when either the Penguins or the opposition received an extra penalty:

- 9 times the Penguin got an extra penalty

- 15 times the opposition got an extra penalty

So what does that say?  Well, outside of the Islanders game, it shows that the Penguins were either winning or tied at the time of the majority of the fights, and not losing most of the time, which would have prompted the Penguins to be the aggressor.

It’s not a slam-dunk obvious outcome, but if one thing’s for sure when it comes to fighting in the NHL, it takes two to tango.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Comments

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Tony,
Thanks so much for doing the work to put this together.  I appreciate the follow-up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/16/11 at 09:48 PM ET

Avatar

So are you saying that on Friday against the Islanders, the Pens were losing and were therefore the aggressors?

Or are you saying that the Penguins are just like the Islanders in that they start fights when they are winning?

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/16/11 at 10:31 PM ET

Tony's avatar

The Islander game was an aberration on several levels, but obvious to anyone watching the game, the Penguins weren’t the aggressors…. But you know that….

And the majority of the time, if the team is winning, it doesn’t make tactical sense to start the fight, but of course that player will get his five minutes as well….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/16/11 at 10:35 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Good job Tony, this just proves what I thought. The rest of the league is jealous of the Penguins, can’t beat them fair & square so they pick fights.
I knew it. ‘)

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 02/16/11 at 11:24 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Nice work, Tony, are you able to provide any context to these fights when there may have been a dirty play either the same game or a game leading up to the fights?  It would be interesting to see differentiate spontaneous fights from grudge/payback/answer-the-bell fights.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 02/17/11 at 01:39 AM ET

Tony's avatar

Oh yeah VooX, I’ll get right on that…. wink

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/17/11 at 01:41 AM ET

Avatar

Thanks Tony, you were so right “the Penguins weren’t the aggressors…. But you know that….” because Goddard definitely didn’t try to start the fight with Gillies, Gillies just fell while attacking Goddard’s stick with his leg and then fell to the ice because he knew that would force Goddard to skate right up to him from behind so that he could engage him in a fight and Letang clearly didn’t intentionally fall on top of Tavares elbow first after pushing him into the boards head first. The Penguins were clearly and solely the victims of that game, especially on the SCOREBOARD 9-3.  Tony your awesome, thanks again and Cooke rocks.

Posted by Hockey2219 on 02/17/11 at 03:03 AM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Tony your awesome,

What about Tony’s awesome?  You can’t just bring up an awesome that somebody owns and not describe it!  Did you mean Tony’s awesome is awesome?  This doesn’t make any sense!

And…I didn’t realize you could own an “awesome”.  I thought it was just an adjective…

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 11:50 AM ET

Avatar

Your right an adjective, a word used to describe a person, place, or thing, would not be used to describe a person.  And your inference is spot on as I really was implying that he “owns” awesome, a word that apparently needs explanation. Maybe next time your well thought out retort will actually have something to do with hockey.

Posted by Hockey2219 on 02/17/11 at 12:37 PM ET

Avatar

When you are winning a hockey game, you do not start fights unless someone takes cheap shots at your star players. Learn about hockey Anthony. Or just ask Daniel Carcillo if it’s a good idea to fight when your team… is winning. Teams take liberties all game against Sid and Gino and now the Penguins are not tolerating it anymore. Love or hate The Penguins, one thing is for sure…with the exception of Ulf they have NEVER been a dirty team.

With your awesome and worldwide popular blog, I am sure you got some sweet press credentials. Next game you’re at with a press pass ask all the players if they would START a fight out of the blue while WINNING. When they all say no…then ask why not? See how long you keep your pass.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 12:44 PM ET

Tony's avatar

When you are winning a hockey game, you do not start fights unless someone takes cheap shots at your star players.

What the hell are you talking about ?  That’s EXACTLY what I wrote….

Did you not read this part:

So what does that say?  Well, outside of the Islanders game, it shows that the Penguins were either winning or tied at the time of the majority of the fights, and not losing most of the time, which would have prompted the Penguins to be the aggressor.

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/17/11 at 12:56 PM ET

Avatar

Hockey 2219 what Flashtastick56 meant to say is that there is an error in the contraction you used, not the adjective, you are is you’re and not your, but why argue with someone that is proud to show the world he still wears underoos?

The rest of your statement however, is true.  Tony has moved on from this discussion as of his last post.

When you are winning a hockey game, you do not start fights unless someone takes cheap shots at your star players.

Which is the point that was made whenTony mentioned Tavares’ slash on Letang, but failed to mention it was in retaliation to Letang’s attempt to injure while down 4-0. Up until that point, only Haley had fought Adams in a legitimate fight and then Goondard fought Gillies when the score became lopsided. This is backed up by Tony’s statistical analysis of the game. Losers start the fights.

You may also not realize that Tangradi is always dressed for Penguin games, not because of his size, but because of his hockey skill, he unlike Haley, just “happened” to be in the lineup due to injuries, because the Islanders had none.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/17/11 at 01:08 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Your right

My right?  What about my right?  And, for that matter, what about my left?

YOU’RE not very bright, are you?

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 01:16 PM ET

Avatar

Im not talking about The Islanders game…This is what I am talking about…

So what does that say?  Well, outside of the Islanders game, it shows that the Penguins were either winning or tied at the time of the majority of the fights, and not losing most of the time, which would have prompted the Penguins to be the aggressor.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 01:18 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Hockey 2219 what Flashtastick56 meant to say is that there is an error in the contraction you used, not the adjective, you are is you’re and not your, but why argue with someone that is proud to show the world he still wears underoos?

I didn’t MEAN to say it.  I did say it.  In a hilariously creative way.

And I don’t get why everyone calls my Flash getup “underoos”.  It’s a hoodie.  With a mask on it.  I don’t wear it UNDER anything…I wear it when I’m chilly - or when I want to look awesome/like the Flash.

You guys take things too seriously sometimes.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 01:21 PM ET

Tony's avatar

We’re saying the same thing….

I said that if the Penguins were LOSING, that would have prompted them to be the aggressor.  If they were winning or tied, that probably was not the case the majority of the time….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/17/11 at 01:21 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

So what does that say?  Well, outside of the Islanders game, it shows that the Penguins were either winning or tied at the time of the majority of the fights, and not losing most of the time, which would have prompted the Penguins to be the aggressor.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 10:18 AM ET

That’s exactly what Tony said, dude.  Like, EXACTLY.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 01:22 PM ET

Avatar

You said the majority of the fights they were winning or tied. I am seeing that as you stressing them being the aggressor. Or are you saying from the BACK end of your statement saying IF they were losing most of the time THAT would cause them to be the aggressor? Because from the way it looks when you read it, is that you’re saying they are the aggressor.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 01:26 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Or are you saying from the BACK end of your statement saying IF they were losing most of the time THAT would cause them to be the aggressor?

Yes….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/17/11 at 01:29 PM ET

Avatar

Well about 8 of my friends and I saw it as you saying they were the aggressor no matter what was going on. So for that I am sorry I misunderstood what you were typing.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 01:31 PM ET

Avatar

I now see your point. The Penguins were the aggressors on Friday night because they were losing, since you cannot invalidate some parts of an analysis just because they don’t follow a narrative you are trying to create. If the Penguins are NOT the aggressors because they are usually winning, then the Penguins ARE the aggressors when they are losing. You cannot throw out data points that you do not like. I think we are now all in agreement.

PS
Flashtastick56 - no offense dude, but you wear that in public? By your grammar, you seem to be out of grade school right? I just thought it was some kind of inside joke.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/17/11 at 01:33 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Well about 8 of my friends and I saw it as you saying they were the aggressor no matter what was going on. So for that I am sorry I misunderstood what you were typing.

Posted by blackthidot on 02/17/11 at 10:31 AM E

Really?  Well, OK, noted…

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 02/17/11 at 01:35 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Flashtastick56 - no offense dude, but you wear that in public? By your grammar, you seem to be out of grade school right? I just thought it was some kind of inside joke.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/17/11 at 10:33 AM ET

I’m 27, an Air Force vet and in my second collegiate go-around…and I wear that thing out in public as much as I possibly can.  The only negative comments I’ve ever received on it is on here - and I thought you guys were just busting my balls.  I figured it anyone would appreciate a hoodie/costume hybrid, it’d be crazy people on the Internet.  Haha.

How can you not think my Flash hoodie is awesome, though?!  I’m stunned.  I mean…it has a hood…with a MASK!  And it makes me look like the Flash.  Man…

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 02:09 PM ET

Avatar

Flashtastick56 my son has a batman raincoat and it is really cool, it has a cape that is like an umbrella, but he’s 3.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/17/11 at 02:34 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/17/11 at 11:34 AM ET

So what you’re saying is…a 3-year-old is just as cool as I am?  Kudos to him…he’s on the fast track to an awesome life.

Haha.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/17/11 at 03:00 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter-