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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Numbers Game: PIM

Last year, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks led the league in penalties amassing 1457 PIM on their way to the franchise's first Stanley Cup victory. However, one would expect that teams that have trouble staying out of the box are more likely to lose because they are more often shorthanded. So does the Ducks success despite their high PIM represent an abnormality or is there no correlation between wins and PIM?

Click on image to enlarge:

There is, in fact, a fairly strong correlation between PIM and wins. Teams that finished below the league average in PIM, had almost 7 more wins and 13 more points compared to teams above the league average. Further, teams in the bottom 10 in points had almost 150 more PIM compared to teams in the Top 10 in points.

Looking at the team stats for this year, I am not convinced that a correlation between PIM and wins will exist at season's end. To date, the least penalized teams include the Kings, Sabres, Bruins, Blues and Islanders. And, for the record, the Ducks are leading the league again in PIM.

For Illegal Curve, I am Adam Gutkin.

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