How The Canucks Are Penalized

The old SOB doing the old SOB walk of shame. [via 1.bp.blogspot.com]

In past seasons we (by which I mean yours truly) have bemoaned what a PIM-happy parade Vancouver games turn into. Some of that is on the players who get lazy or have trouble keeping their emotions in check. Other times it's Vigneault who can't keep his own bench under control. Maybe Newell Brown really is a demi-god because not only are the special teams significantly improved, but their PIMs per game is down to a mere 12.6, good enough for 12th best in the league.

Have the boys finally decided to focus on hockey for a change rather than stroke their pugilistic urges?

Let's take a quick look at who is taking what type of penalty. After the leap you'll see Vancouver is a hook-happy team and a surprise winger holds the only charging call as we move towards the winter months.

If you view the site in the narrow view, the table below is probably mucking up the site alignment or getting cut off on the right side. I suggest flipping to wide for the sake of viewing and sorting the table.

Fight
Board
Charge
Elbow Rough Hold Hold/Stick
Hook
Intf
Goal Intf
Trip
XCheck
HiStick Slash
CloseHand Unsports
Glass
4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Rypien
3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Bieksa
2 1 0 2 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 0
Ballard
2 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Desbiens 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Torres
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0
Alberts
0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Bolduc
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Hansen
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
Kesler
0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 0
Tambellini
0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Edler
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
Raymond
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rome
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Ehrhoff
0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
Hamhuis
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
D. Sedin
0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0
H. Sedin
0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Burrows
0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samuelsson
0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 1 2 0 0
Malhotra
0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Click the header to sort each column

I excluded misconducts and game misconducts (those explain why Rypien leads the team in PIMs but is pretty quiet above), Peter Schaefer since he's off the roster and I dropped the instigator (Torres had the only call). Otherwise penalties missing above are because Vancouver hasn't been cited committing that specific offense.

That's right haters, you see diving? Me either. In fact there have been only 11 diving calls this year and the lone correlation is both Ruutu brothers have one a piece.

Some thoughts:

  • It's not surprising that the most frequent calls fall under the restraining category (at least as CBS describes it) as the Canucks aren't overly aggressive this season. Instead some guys get caught cheating when the puck movement changes quickly. Others get caught with lazy stick or obstruction calls. Your most frequent Vancouver penalties: hooking (19), interference (15) and holding (14).
  • These types of calls also fall under the TSP (Token Swedish Penalty) quite easily, though the Swedes differ in their approaches (Hank's a hooker, Edler & Dank are trippers and Sammy's a hooking/slashing/interfering triple threat).
  • Rome and an unsportsmanlike call strikes me as an odd pairing. It was the end of the Ottawa game when he mixed it up with Michalek who received the same penalty.
  • The Hoff is a holder. A cuddler off the ice perhaps?
  • Your equal opportunity offender is Kevin Bieksa who is second on the team in PIMs and appears in nine of the above sixteen categories. Juicy.
  • Raise your hand if you're shocked Vancouver only has one charging penalty and it's to Tambellini. Oh stop lying, just raise your damn hand.
  • I'm also surprised only Torres has a goalie interference call. It increases my respect for Kesler since he often lives in the crease - especially on the PP - and knows what line not to cross or knows how to fool the zebras.
  • Speaking of Kesler, he and buddy Burrows are fairly quiet this season. Burr has five minors and Kesler one more with six.
  • The Kyle Wellwood of the group (not in girth of course) is Raymond who has a paltry two PIMs to his name and that was from an early November game against Colorado.
  • Both goalies, Parent, Perrault, Bliznak and Andersson have no PIMs.

This type of penalty breakdown has more value at the end of the year and in context with the rest of the league, but for now it provides a small glimpse into what Vancouver's transgressions tend to occur most frequently and, of course, which don't.

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