Connor McDavid among biggest penalty magnets, plus more

Connor McDavid among biggest penalty magnets, plus more

Postautor: lucky » 18 gru 2017, o 10:25

Players who take or draw penalties at a higher rate than their NHL peers have always fascinated me. Like everything else in hockey that is quantifiable, these numbers require significant consideration of context, from players' roles on their teams to the nature of the penalties to something as nebulous as their reputations among officials.
(On that last point: How many dives draw a call or get ignored because that player is on "the list" with NHL officials?) I'm particularly fascinated with the penalty numbers for forwards, given that we assume most defensemen will take more penalties than they draw. (Please note that Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues leads in penalties plus/minus for defensemen, at plus-7 this season.)
So let's take a gander at the forwards who have drawn the most penalties since the start of the 2016-17 season through Thursday night's games. All stats are via the great Corsica
'Twas a time when one might assume that Connor McDavid's penalties-drawn rate would have been a product of reputation -- but, honestly, have you seen this guy play? He's drawing a penalty for every 37.1 minutes of even-strength ice time. Johnny Gaudreau is averaging one penalty drawn for every 40.98 minutes of ice time.
But on average, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins is drawing more than both of them: one penalty for every 36.23 minutes of ice time since the start of last season. In all three cases, their ability to get into scoring position is what forces opposing players to foul them -- and in some cases, their ability to know when to draw those penalties. Hey, that's an art form too.
Nikolaj Ehlers is an Marcel Dionne Youth jersey interesting name on this list. He leads the Winnipeg Jets in penalties drawn, with eight more than Mathieu Perreault, the team leader in puck possession (53.16) over the past two seasons. Dustin Brown, meanwhile, has been a master at drawing penalties for quite some time. Since 2014, Brown has drawn 70 penalties in 276 games, for a penalty plus/minus of plus-37 -- by far the best on the Los Angeles Kings during that stretch.
Now let's look on the opposite side of the ledger, at forwards with the biggest negative penalty plus/minus: Highest negative penalty plus-minus totals
From 2016-17 through Dec. 14, with a minimum of 1,000 minutes.Again, some names you expect: Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon both have 11 major penalties since the start of last season. Jason Chimera, Matt Stajan and Michael Frolik are all energy-line players.
Mikko Koivu is a bit of a surprise because he's one of the NHL's best defensive forwards by reputation. But given that he hasn't scored since Nov. 25, Wild fans probably have other issues with him. Then we come to Ryan Johansen, who at times can be perplexing statistically, and this is no exception. His penalty plus/minus since the start of last season is worse than that of Cody McLeod (minus-15), whose job is literally to take penalties. Johansen's penalty plus-minus also is worse than any other defenseman on his team.
Hey, things happen. As a center, Johansen has more defensive responsibility than do linemates Filip Forsberg (plus-2) and Viktor Arvidsson (plus-9). But Forsberg has drawn 22 and Arvidsson Masahiro Tanaka Youth jersey has drawn 26 in the past two seasons, so the question is, why doesn't Johansen draw more?
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