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NHL Penalty Plus/Minus: 2008-9 Final Results

Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings cruised to his 2nd-consecutive championship in NHL Penalty Plus/Minus, with a +60 result that nearly doubled that of his closest competitor, Calgary's Jarome Iginla (+35). Brown clearly has a knack for causing opponents to take penalties without taking too many himself (only 64 PIMs).

Last year, Brown won a much tighter race, with a +43 that beat out Sidney Crosby (+39) and Pavel Datsyuk (+37).

At the bottom of the rankings, we had a late upset: Vancouver's Mattias Ohlund fell to the last spot with a -33, just below San Jose's Rob Blake (-32).

To put the value of Penalty Plus/Minus in perspective, by generating a net of 60 power play opportunities for his team, Brown's achievement tipped the Goals For/Against scale by roughly 10 goals, which over the course of an NHL season is worth about 4 points in the standings.

For all the details, consult the table below, which is available as a publicly accessible Google Spreadsheet. You can export it down to your own computer in a variety of formats, and analyze your own favorite player's or team's results.

Data updated each Monday during the season
Click here to go to the Google Doc

Penalty Plus/Minus is calculated by taking 2, 4, 5 minute penalties, along with those resulting in Penalty Shots, and giving a +1 to the player noted in the Play By Play files as drawing the call, and a -1 to the player committing the penalty.

Defensemen tend to have negative values in this metric, as their job on the ice often involves obstructing or holding players. Similarly, skilled offensive forwards often have strongly positive values. For agitators (such as Jordin Tootoo or Sean Avery), Penalty Plus/Minus can serve to measure how disciplined they are in causing opponents to retaliate while not taking penalites themselves.

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