Monday, February 23, 2009

Penalties


I was thinking today of the amount of penalties called on the Stars this season. As previously mentioned, the Stars lead the USHL in penalty minutes with 1234 PIM's in 44 games played. That's roughly 28 penalty minutes per game by the Stars. Last season, after 60 regular season games, the Stars averaged 26.8 penalty minutes per game (again, first in the USHL).

I remember last season the team having problems with the "dumb penalty." Quite often you'd see players do something really undisciplined, sometime retaliatory, and get called for the penalty. As a fan, it drove me nuts. I don't mind a team racking up the PIM's in the course of a physical, bang-up game. It happens. This is hockey, not chess. However, the undisciplined penalties that plagued the Stars last season is what drove me nuts.

This season, despite the fact that the Stars lead the USHL in PIM's, I really believe that the coaches have done a fantastic job of teaching the guys to drastically cut down on the amount of dumb penalties. There's no mistaking that Coach McGroarty loves to play a physical style of hockey. That doesn't mean that the players are excused to commit stupid penalties. Sure, there have been games where undisciplined play might have caused a loss, but I believe those have been cut back dramatically from last season.

What say you? Do you believe that the Stars have cut back on the amount of dumb penalties? Do you think that the team could play better disciplined hockey?

No comments: