In the 48 game 2012/13 shortened, NHL season The Ottawa Senators were incredible on the penalty kill. The Senators surrendered just 20 GA(Goals Against) in 167 TSH(Times Short-Handed). That’s an average 88% of all penalties killed last season, slotting them 1st overall in The NHL in that category. Through the first 3 games played this season The Senators have already surrendered 5 GA and have taken 16 penalties for an average of 68.8% on the PK. What’s going on?
Lets begin with the amount of penalties taken. The Senators took an average of 3.5 penalties per game last season and have increased that percentage by nearly 2 more penalties per game through the first 3 games this season at 5.3 penalties per game. The Senators 16 TSH this season ranks them the 3rd most penalized team in the league however, the teams with more penalties taken (Los Angeles and Philadelphia) have played 1 more game than Ottawa and therefore; the Sens are the runaway leader for most penalties taken per game.
It’s clear The Senators haven’t exactly made friends with the referees this season but has this always the case? Looking into The Senators power play opportunities vs. penalties taken from last season, The Senators were a -10, drawing just 157 penalties compared to taking 167 penalties or taking 6% more penalties than PPO (power play opportunities). This season The Senators have taken 16 penalties vs. just 8 PPO for a -8 and drastically increasing that percentage to 50% more TSH over PPO.
Watching the games of late, I find myself increasingly questioning calls against The Senators and often wondering how some plays did not earn a PP for The Sens. Of course every fan is going to have a bias view taking into account every play from their teams perspective and thus I’m not suggesting that my opinion is 100% fair, however; I do try to observe games from an objective perspective to provide readers with fair account of how things unfolded etc… If there’s one thing that remains to fans/ sports analysts alike it’s numbers, statistics, percentages. Numbers determine everything in the world of sports, it’s numbers that count for everything, number of wins, losses, goals, assists, shots, chances, everything is measured in numbers. After all “the numbers don’t lie” right?
Here are some hard to swallow numbers for you Sens fans calculated from The Sens last 3 seasons (2010/11-2012/13)
Year PPO TSH +/-
2012/13 157 167 -10
2011/12 270 310 -40
2010/11 257 295 -38
Total 684 772 -88