Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Goon Quotient: Results You'd Expect

This morning I've been fooling around with some stats; specifically with penalties.  NHL.com essentially breaks down penalty data for us; but I wanted to measure the goons; those teams with the most grit.  Half of me wanted to see if the stereotypes rang true ("Habitants?! More like Pussitants! AMIRITE!", "BURY GILLIES!"), the other to see if there was any sort of correlation between success and perceived "grit".

So, I made up the MIN-MAJ Ratio; the Goon Quotient; the BizNasty Postulate; whatever the hell you want to call it.

Essentially; all it takes is the total number of minor penalties for any given team; then divides that by the combined number of Majors, Misconducts, and Match penalties.  You've got 2 spectrums, the BizNasty Postulate and the exact opposite; the Pinko Frenchie Don Cherry Exponent.

For whole teams; both stats work well, you can really see the attitudes and behaviors of each roster, mostly because of the larger scale of the data.  On the personnel side, only the BizNasty Postulate is worth looking at.  And we will, oh we will.  Off to the data.

Team Major/Minor Ratio

The data speaks for itself.  Tell me when you think of "soft" teams, you don't immediately think Detroit, Nashville, Florida, Buffalo, etc.  Go right down the line.  Now count the goons on each team.  Wings? Nope. Predators? Tootoo. Phoenix? BizNasty. Tampa? Nope. Florida? Hordichuk. Buffalo? McCormick.  I'll stop.

Of teams in the bottom 10 (top 10?) of the Goon Quotient; only Phoenix (3rd. BizNasty 13), Buffalo (6th. McCormick 18), Carolina (8th. Troy Bodie 10), Minnesota (9th. Brad Staubitz 17) and Chicago (10th. John Scott 10) have roster players with more than 10 combined Majors, Misconducts, and Match penalties.  That's 10 teams, 5 players, 68 penalties assessed.

Now, of teams in the top 10 in this here Goon Quotient; 22 players have over 10 combined Majors, Misconducts, and Match penalties.  That contrast is stark.  Boston (1st. Shawn Thornton 16. Adam McQuaid 13. Greg Campbell 11), the Islanders (2nd. Zenon Konopka 31. Matt Martin 16. Trevor Gillies 15), St. Louis (3rd. BJ Crombeen 17, Cam Janssen 17, Brad Winchester 10), Pittsburgh (4th. Derek Engelland 15, Mike Rupp 13, Eric Godard 10) lead with 3 guys with at least 10.  Anaheim's then got Parros, the Rangers bring Avery and Prust into it, Edmonton has Theo Peckham and Zack Stortini, Dallas brings Steve Ott and Krys Barch to the bloodbath, and finally the Kings have Kyle Clifford and Kevin Westgarth.  So that's 10 teams, 22 players, 342 penalties.  A stark difference? You betcha.

So what does this stat really tell us?  Boston is a disciplined team, taking few minors, but willing to stand up for itself if the need arises? Pittsburgh is undisciplined and goonish? Buffalo acts a fool but forces poor Cody McCormick to answer for it?

So is there any correlation between goons and success? Being Charmin soft and making the playoffs?  Well; of the top 10 in goon quotient (so the gooniest, I'm not convinced one way or the other is better) 5 teams are currently in playoff spots, in the bottom 10, 7 teams are holding playoff positions, while 4 middling teams do as well.  Interesting eh?

Well what about just the majors themselves; screw the Quotient.  Well; the 15 teams on the softer side; well 9 of them are in playoff positioning.  The 15 on the goon side? 7 in playoff positioning, naturally.

Separate it further.  The Soft 10; 7 playoff teams, the middling 10; 5 playoff teams, the Goon 10; 4 playoff teams.

Ok; so how does that change when you factor in all penalties; minors plus majors, misconducts and match penalties?  Well; it does go about a minor change.  The 10 least penalized teams have 5 playoff teams, the middle 10 have 7, while the most heavily penalized 10 rosters have 4 teams in playoff positioning.

Is Damien Cox right?  Are goons irrelevant, detrimental even, in today's NHL?  Seems to be moving that way. Someone do a historical analysis.

BizNasty Postulate

BizNasty FTW! Let's be honest here; this is a who's who list of goons in the league; only towards the bottom of this 30 most majors in the league list do you start to see some players who can contribute in other areas as well.  The increase in minors directly coincides with increased ice time or in Steve Ott's case; how big of a douche he's being on the ice at any given time.

So congratulations Paul Bissonette; you have exactly 0.230769 minor penalties for every Major.  Fourth line for life.

Pinko Commie Don Cherry Charmin Soft Theorem

I don't particularly care for the reverse goon quotient if only for the fact that you can't divide by zero.  But what exactly does Victor Hedman having 31 minors and no majors tell us?  That he needs to move his feet more?  Whatever.

You know what is interesting about this list, which is the top 30 players in assessed minors?  Look at the trend down the line...soft, soft, soft, soft, agitator, agitator, douchebag, terrible reputation players, Captain Elbows Jr., Worst person on the planet, Matt Cooke, then gets into some of the goons.  

Key to this list?  Notice all those guys who're assessed tons of minors...P.K. Subban, Ruutu, Cooke, Neil...but don't answer the bell.  Tsk, tsk fellas.
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.