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Today my gameday post features a couple of massive tables listing player suspensions last season vs. this season. For the sake of easy reading and out of respect for my fellow blog authors (except for spade and Rudy. Oh, and Earl too.) I have put everything below the jump.
For the purposes of these suspension tables, I counted preseason games as 0.5 games each.
Here's the suspension data for last season (through December 3rd, 2010):
|10-11 Season Date||Player||Type||# of Games|
|10/10/2010||Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond||Automatic - instigator||1|
|10/18/2010||Shane Doan||Head hit||3|
|10/22/2010||Rick Rypien||Fan interaction||6|
|10/27/2010||Stephane Robidas||Automatic - instigator
|11/1/2010||Daniel Briere||Head hit||3|
|11/5/2010||Joe Thornton||Head hit||2|
|11/13/2010||Brent Burns||Head hit||2|
|11/18/2010||Olli Jokinen||Head hit||3|
|Number of suspensions through Dec 3rd:||13|
|Average length of suspension:||2.19 games|
|Average length for head hits:||2.6 games|
|Average length for other infractions:||1.94 games|
And here's the data for year zero of the reign of Shanahan:
|11-12 Season Date||Player||Type||# of Games|
|September 20, 2011||Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond||Boarding||3|
|September 20, 2011||Jody Shelley||Boarding||7.5|
|September 23, 2011||James Wisniewski||Head hit||10|
|September 23, 2011||Brad Staubitz||Boarding||5|
|September 24, 2011||Brad Boyes||Head hit||1|
|September 24, 2011||Jean-Francois Jacques||Fighting||7|
|September 26, 2011||Tom Sestito||Boarding||3|
|September 28, 2011||Brendan Smith||Head hit||6.5|
|September 30, 2011||Clarke MacArthur||Head hit||2.5|
|October 8, 2011||Pierre-Marc Bouchard||Stickwork||2|
|October 17, 2011||Kris Letang||Boarding||2|
|October 28, 2011||Andy Sutton||Head hit||5|
|October 28, 2011||Daniel Carcillo||Boarding||2|
|November 2, 2011||Patrick Kaleta||Head hit||4|
|November 17, 2011||Chris Stewart||Boarding||3|
|November 23, 2011||Andre Devaux||Head hit||3|
|November 26, 2011||Max Pacioretty||Head hit||3|
|December 3, 2011||Jordin Tootoo||Hitting the goalie||2|
|December 3, 2011||Mark Fistric
|Number of suspensions through Dec 3rd:||19|
|Average length of suspension:||3.92 games|
|Average length for head hits:||4.38 games|
|Average length for other infractions:||3.59 games|
So we have significantly more suspensions this year than last year, though that difference disappears if you discard the crazy number of preseason suspensions we had this year. The average length of a suspension has roughly doubled, with more of that increase coming in suspensions for head hits than for other infractions.
It will be interesting to take a look at these tables again later in the year, to see if we see a decline in the number of head hit infractions (which would support the idea that Shanahan's stricter penalties are working) and if the difference in the severity of the penalties handed out last season and this season continues to grow.
On the subject of suspensions, here's an idea I'd like to see the NHL try: when a player gets suspended, his team must leave a roster spot empty until the suspension is finished. They get to have their full complement of players on the ice, of course, but they just have one fewer body on the bench. It's sort of like a super-penalty box: a player did something so bad he's putting his team down a man for several games. What do you think?
Anyways, this whole suspension thing was inspired by my 58th-favorite movie, Hot Fuzz. Here's an awesome clip that's full of spoilers, so seriously don't watch this if you haven't seen the movie.
But now let's talk about tonight's game.
There comes a point in a sports rivalry where it stops being healthy competition and starts turning malignant. A pure desire to beat a rival can become twisted by contempt, until you seriously don't even enjoy games against that team any more because you just despise them SO MUCH. You start finding yourself wishing physical harm on opposing players and fans, and watching games becomes some sort of weird Two Minutes Hate sort of thing.
That's how I feel about the Dallas Stars.
Enjoy your time in the new Sex Offender Division, Stars. You've earned it.
Prediction: The Dallas Stars let the door hit them on the way out. Sharks win 5-2.