Another Game…

Another steam-roll by the officials.



Look, I’m no super-genius, world-renowned, 1 in a billion mega wunderkind NHL official, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s not a coincidence that the Sens never draw penalties.

Who did this franchise piss off, and seriously, how can this be allowed?

Once or twice, sure, it happens, but game after game, being outnumbered 4, 5, 6, 7 to one in penalties against, that simply doesn’t happen.

I’ve watched more than enough hockey to know the Sens are being ignored in calls for.

Ottawa now averages 4.5 PK’s a game.

But they averaged 4.33 pk’s a game until the Oct 29th game vs. FLA.  They also averaged 3.78 PP’s a game up until that point.  Right around the league average of 4.0.  This would be considered normal distribution.  Some are a bit better, some a bit worse, but most are darn near a wash.

Since that game in Florida, where Clouston and Murray questioned the officiating, and some believe was officially complained about to the league?

4.7 PK’s/g  and 2.4 PP’s/g.

That’s 17 PP’s for, 33 PK’s against!

In a league that has always strived to match up penalties, that’s a major statistical anomaly, MAJOR!


Absolutely impossible.

Ottawa, for the season, has a delta of PP for/against of  -1.25/g.  By far the worst in the league, by a MILE!

In fact, if you look at historical data, it’s a complete outlier.

The next closest?

Montreal, with a delta of PP for/against of  -0.88/g.  This is relatively normal for a “worst” PP for/against ratio.

After that it’s almost a wash, with most teams basically even for and against.

Since the FLA game, the Sens for/against delta is -2.3/g, with a PP for of 2.4 PP’s/g.

The league average PP’s and PK’s game is 4.0.  That may not seem like much of a difference, but statistically, considering the normal historical distribution, it’s virtually impossible in being a coincidence.


Because the spread is just too great.  In order for the average to be 4.0, over 516 gp(this year), teams have to take minors.  Sure, it could be one team taking them all, but the data doesn’t support that.  All teams are taking minors.

So the question is, how many defend against 2.4 penalties a game?  Because that is what the Sens are drawing.

Zero, zip, zilch, NADA!

The best team in the league (BUF) is facing 3.6 PK/g.

Yet Ottawa, who hasn’t played BUF, is only drawing 3.25 PP’s/g for the season, and 2.4 PP’s/g since (including) playing Florida.

Somehow, in the past 7 games, Ottawa has only faced teams taking anomalously few penalties.  Outrageously few penalties…IMPOSSIBLY FEW PENALTIES!

EVERY team Ottawa has played since (incl.) FLA  average more than 2.4 PK’s/g.

In fact, combined, they average, you guessed it, 4.0.  Imagine that, the league average, there’s that ROBUST number again.  The one Ottawa is way below in PP’s for, and above in PK’s against.

Is it really a surprise these 6 teams, when combined, hit the average?  No, because the league hands out penalties in an almost even distribution…except for Ottawa!

Some may say the Sens were beat tonight, by the better team.  O.k., I’ll buy that, the stats prior to the game certainly support it.  But only a fool could miss the fact that, after being scored upon 3 times while killing penalties, the team looked defeated.  They looked afraid to touch a player, check a player, or even challenge them.  Whereas the Flyers played the body tighter and tighter as the match went on.

If that penalty on Ruutu was hooking/interference, then honestly, tell me it was the only example of that sort of contact, go ahead, lie to me.

It wasn’t, as I witnessed PHI repeatedly engage in that identical play numerous times afterwards.  In fact, it was a cheap call, against any team, on any night.  And this is the key issue, not so much the penalties for, it’s the blatant non calls against the Sens opposition, as the stats bear out.  This isn’t just bitching, this is FACT.

Why is Ottawa being targeted?

Is it a conscious effort?

I have no idea, but unless you believe in Sasquatch, the Lockness Monster and Area 54, there’s no doubt they are being targeted.

Absolutely no doubt.



8 Responses to “Another Game…”

  1. Gerald,

    Nice piece. I don’t even want to imagine how much angst was built up while you penned it.

  2. CanuckAbroad Says:

    I totally agree. But what can we do about it?

    How do we stop this madness?

  3. Pulling all the strings Says:

    Yea there were blatant non-calls, one on Foligno for sure and Ruutu’s holding call was weak, he barely touched the guy and I don’t think his progress was impeded. Face it every marginal call will go against Ottawa while opponents really have to be obvious in their infractions.

    I don’t really care how many penalties are called. As long as its fairly even. I don’t think its a matter of the Sens being too slow so they have to grab, clutch and trip more either. Some thing smells, and the vertical zebra striped gentlemen are emitting the odour.

    3 bad goals last night – Without weak goaltending, Cheechoo ringing the crossbar – the game could have gone to OT. We’ve won some stinkers, we’ll lose some too. Tis the season until the D and goaltending becomes solid.

  4. The numbers had to back it up, I was starting think it was normal for the Sens to routinely be behind the eight ball in the PP/PK differential. Thanks for the statistical breakdown, GN.

    Fucking rediculous.

  5. Fantastic! I am glad that you took the time to do that. I would love to see a real math dork work out exactly how statistically improbable those numbers are – especially given the differential before and after Florida. I mean what is the actual percentage chance that this could happen – I bet that number would just reinforce your claim that it is realistically impossible. Great work!


  6. I totally agree. Don’t know that it will help; but I sent the NHL a link to your web site. I suggested that they look into this situation. This is clearly discrimination against the Senators. Perhaps a complaint could be lodged with Colin Campbell? Although he might just deal with suspensions.

    In any case, your points are extremely valid

  7. One of the nicest, most compelling analyses I have seen in a sports context. This is so far beyond the capacity of so-called professionals like Garrioch or Brennan it is laughable. A formal statistical analysis, I believe, would result in a p value with a ridiculous number of zeroes after the decimal place. All but the hopelessly innumerate can see the stark reality of the situation.

    The implications are appalling. Referees failing to enforce the rules fairly, putatively because of a percieved lack of sufficient deference and obsequiesness, is far beyond a disgracefully unprofessional dereliction of duty. In any reasonable organization this would be grounds for immediate dismissal. The failure of the league to react swiftly and harshly to this suggests statistical feeblemindedness, or worse.

    Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable analysis and for providing a more rigorous approach to something many of us had grasped at an intuitive level.

  8. Woozle man Says:

    The Ruutu call in particular is performed by virtually every defenseman who pins someone against the boards, it happens at least 20 times each game, and is NOT A PENALTY. Boo urns.

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