Power Play Opportunities Way Up In 2013

Derek Zona
February 02 2013 11:19AM

Jay Sherrers
via Wikimedia Commons

Covering the puck, interference, stick taps to the gloves, late game whistles -- referees are noticeably more picky to start the 2013 season.  The refereeing calls to mind the return of the NHL in 2005-2006 following the previous lockout when the NHL cracked down on obstruction via holding and interference calls.  The crackdown was widely viewed as a ploy to increase scoring and regain the interest of angry fans.  Power plays per team per game  jumped to 5.85, before falling back to 4.85 in 2006-2007.  By the 2011-12 season the number dropped to 3.30. 

Below is a table ranking all 30 NHL teams by number of penalties drawn per game. 

Rk  Team  PD/G
1 Detroit Red Wings  5.71
2 San Jose Sharks  5.57
3 Toronto Maple Leafs  5.57
4 Montreal Canadiens  5.50
5 Los Angeles Kings  5.50
6 Florida Panthers  5.14
7 Vancouver Canucks  5.13
8 Tampa Bay Lightning  5.00
9 Edmonton Oilers  5.00
10 Carolina Hurricanes  5.00
11 Philadelphia Flyers  5.00
12 New Jersey Devils  4.83
13 Columbus Blue Jackets  4.75
14 Winnipeg Jets  4.25
15 Phoenix Coyotes  4.25
16 Chicago Blackhawks  4.13
17 Washington Capitals  4.13
18 Boston Bruins  4.00
19 Pittsburgh Penguins  4.00
20 New York Rangers  4.00
21 Calgary Flames  4.00
22 St. Louis Blues  3.88
23 Minnesota Wild  3.88
24 Buffalo Sabres  3.57
25 Ottawa Senators  3.50
26 New York Islanders  3.43
27 Dallas Stars  3.38
28 Nashville Predators  3.14
29 Colorado Avalanche  3.00
30 Anaheim Ducks  2.83

While the jump in power play opportunities hasn't been as severe as it was in 2005, the league average has jumped to 4.36 thus far.  Teams are, on average, seeing one additional power play per game in 2013 compared to 2011-12. 

Last year's best team at drawing penalties, the Flyers, had an average of 4.08 power plays per game.  Through the first few weeks of the 2013 season, 17 teams are drawing more than 4.08 penalties per game, and 4 other teams are drawing 4.00.  The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild, 23rd and 24th in penalties drawn thus far, would have ranked 2nd in the league last season.  Not only will luck play more of a role in the compressed 2013 schedule, as long as the refs are quick on the whistle, special teams will play more of a role as well.

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#1 garik16
February 02 2013, 09:34PM
Trash it!
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trashes
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props

We've really seen at Isles game a ton of hand covering the puck penalties.

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