Carolina's Minor Penalties Up In 2009-10

The Carolina Hurricanes have been tops in the league for three consecutive years at drawing penalties, but for the first time since the lockout the team was called for more penalties than they were able to draw last season. 

The Canes had 332 powerplay chances last season which was number one in the NHL.  On the other side of the ledger, the team was called for 343 minor penalties, 15th most in the league.   During their successful 2008-09 campaign, the Canes were only called for 322 minors, the second lowest number in the NHL.

After the first ten games of the season, the Hurricanes were leading the league with the most penalties, (which might help to explain their poor start).  We analyzed those penalties here, but the team did improve on that stat as the year went on and as personnel changed. 

The specifics after the jump.

Here are the top 16 skaters regarding total ice time:

 

Total Time
On Ice
Pitkanen 1944
Whitney 1532
Staal 1450
Jokinen 1362
Gleason 1293
Sutter 1191
Cullen 1141
Ward 1087
Kostopoulos 1027
Brind`Amour 1017
Samsonov  963
Carson 938
Alberts 934
Ruutu 885
LaRose 879
Corvo 857



Next up, we will include the total minor penalties taken.

 

Total Time Total
On Ice Minors
Pitkanen 1944 36
Whitney 1532 13
Staal 1450 24
Jokinen 1362 17
Gleason 1293 14
Sutter 1191 1
Cullen 1141 13
Ward 1087 27
Kostopoulos 1027 23
Brind`Amour 1017 18
Samsonov  963 15
Carson 938 6
Alberts 934 22
Ruutu 885 15
LaRose 879 12
Corvo 857 5

 

Finally, we will incorporate the average penalties taken per minute played and re-sort to those results.

 

Total Time Total Minors
On Ice Minors per Minute
Ward 1087 27 0.025
Alberts 934 22 0.024
Kostopoulos 1027 23 0.022
Pitkanen 1944 36 0.019
Brind`Amour 1017 18 0.018
Ruutu 885 15 0.017
Staal 1450 24 0.017
Samsonov  963 15 0.016
LaRose 879 12 0.014
Jokinen 1362 17 0.012
Cullen 1141 13 0.011
Gleason 1293 14 0.011
Whitney 1532 13 0.008
Carson 938 6 0.006
Corvo 857 5 0.006
Sutter 1191 1 0.001

 

First of all, it's absolutely amazing to look at the actual time on ice number for Joni Pitkanen.  He played almost 25% more than his closest teammate, (Ray Whitney), plus he missed 11 games.  No wonder he led the NHL with average time on the ice per game played, by far.   

If we look at the raw penalty numbers, Pitkanen led the team with 36 minor penalties.  But after we factor in the minutes played, it turned out that he had the fourth worst (penalty per minute) average on the team.  Aaron Ward and Andrew Alberts had the worst results as they averaged about one minor penalty for every 40 minutes of time they were on the ice.  

It's hard to get better than Brandon Sutter, who was only called for one minor penalty the entire season.

Also, lets give credit to Joe Corvo, who led the team with average ice time before his injury.  He did a nice job keeping his penalty count to a minimum.

And what about Brett Carson?  The rookie played a lot of tough minutes and only had six minor penalties.  He was not as physical and did not have the hits that Ward and Alberts had, but he was solid in his own end.

Will the Hurricanes youth movement be able to stay out of the penalty box this season?

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