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The Penalty Disparity and Gulutzan's Veiled Accusation of Bias

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11-19-2011, 11:18 AM
  #1
piqued
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The Penalty Disparity and Gulutzan's Veiled Accusation of Bias

I'm not sure why this didn't get more attention when he said it prior to the Washington game. It was 3 paragraphs worth of passive-aggressive ref baiting.
I think maybe there is a little bit of a history here with us in this league. I am not saying that we’re getting calls unfairly, but it seems like we’ve got a short leash out there. I think we are going to try to change our perception, especially from the bench and how much we are talking to the referees because they’re only human and you get a reputation as a group. I am not quite sure what our reputation is in the league. I don’t know if it’s great.
...
I think that we’ve been a barrage of arguments over maybe a few years that, maybe, we have a reputation that we are working hard to change. We’re going to try to change that, so that we’re not always on the bad end of the penalties because I don’t think we’re a dirty team by any means.
Since he made his point, the situation has only gotten worse. The Stars remain dead last in the league with a negative 36 minutes and 20 seconds spread between time on the power play and time on the penalty kill.

Gulutzan's overall gist seems to be that the officials don't like the players on the Stars or what they say and therefore penalize them more often. But does that have any basis in reality?

If it did, you would expect that reputation to have been earned over the previous seasons and that they would show a similar disparity in PP/PK time. Last year, however, the Stars enjoyed over 47 minutes of PP time compared to time spent killing. That was 5th best in the league. Go back another year and the Stars were even more favored by the refs with a whopping +68:45 difference, good for 3rd overall. So unless the guys in stripes have a burning hatred for Fiddler/Dvorak/Souray/Pardy/Dowell etc. Gulutzan's explanation falls completely flat and doesn't mesh with the facts.

So what is responsible? Well what we can look at is who exactly was putting the Stars on the PP so comparatively often last year. Larsen and Wandell were #1 and #2 in PPs drawn per 60 minutes of icetime. Both players have been marginalized thus far by Gulutzan. Vincour was 7th, another guy who hasn't made an impact on the big club.

Benn is the one major constant. He was great in this regard previously and shows no signs of stopping. Of course he also is playing less since Crawford's crazy double-shifting regimen has come to an end. His impact has been tempered a bit though by several extremely ticky-tack calls where he's basically just been stronger than the other player and gotten whistled for that.

Morrow, somewhat surprisingly, was 5th best a year ago. He even had a positive differential between minors taken and minors drawn. As you can probably guess, it's a different story this year. Obviously it's early, but he's taking 2 penalties per 60 minutes and drawing only .7 per 60. Anyone who has watched his lethargic and undisciplined play shouldn't be surprised by these results.

Perhaps the biggest culprit though is the defense corps. We all knew Souray had a reputation for taking minors and he's done nothing to dispel that. Grossman, Fistric, Robidas, Pardy, and Daley all have a negative differential, to varying degrees. Goose was the only guy contributing positively and staying out of the box and now he's gone.

In conclusion, instead of blaming vague outside factors or focusing his attention on what players say on the bench, Gulutzan should look into giving more ice time to his players who are net PP creators and recalibrate his defense with more natural pairings who can control the puck rather than chase it interminably. A wake-up call to Morrow in the form of a scratch (healthy or otherwise) is another option.

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11-19-2011, 11:49 AM
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The problem isn't that we are taking penalties. It's that we never have the puck. Teams forecheck us and we turn pucks over, plus we generally allow easy access out of our offensive zone. If you don't ever have the puck, you are going to take some penalties. Then the team feels entitled to even up calls later in the game, and when they don't get them, Morrow takes a frustration penalty. Morrow has been lucky that a couple of them have been where the ref takes both guys.

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11-19-2011, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
In conclusion, instead of blaming vague outside factors or focusing his attention on what players say on the bench, Gulutzan should look into giving more ice time to his players who are net PP creators and recalibrate his defense with more natural pairings who can control the puck rather than chase it interminably. A wake-up call to Morrow in the form of a scratch (healthy or otherwise) is another option.
You make a strong case.

Wandell is the main piece in this if you ask me. Anything to do with Larsen has to be taken with a grain of salt due to small sample size but I will grant that his puck-carrying style would lend itself to drawing a good number of penalties. Wandell has just been marginalized beyond belief; it should not take a Krys Barch scratch for him to get into games. We've seen this from Wandell in the past where when he's not getting into games regularly and/or not getting solid minutes with good linemates that his effectiveness goes downhill. Putting him in Nystrom's spot would help a lot of things and would definitely put him in a position to draw some penalties by checking scoring players.

Unrelated, sorta...I've seen enough of Toby Petersen. mmmehhh

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11-19-2011, 12:49 PM
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I didnt want to bring this up because I didnt want to knock Gulutzan but IMO he is way off base on this and it makes him look like a whiner. The stars are on the short end of the penalty calls because they deserve to be. They never have the puck and most penalties are earned in the attacking zone.

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11-19-2011, 03:14 PM
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I don't think he's whining, this quote was from last night:

Quote:
"The [penalty] differential is a concern. I think it's a byproduct of a little bit of being outworked the last four or five games, and then you start taking penalties. But last night Brenden took that penalty, and two minutes before that, that was a pretty good cross check to Loui Eriksson. Loui bounced off the boards pretty good, so everybody was mad about that."

"We're not on the right side of calls right now, but we're not working to get on the right side of calls, so what are the refs supposed to do?''
He seems to clearly understand that the penalty differential is the fault of the players. I agree though Wandell needs more than 4th line minutes to be effective, and the entire team needs to be more disciplined. But mostly its lack of puck possession that's causing this problem.


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11-19-2011, 03:27 PM
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Based on that quote he's not whining at all in my opinion. I think a lot of the penalties the Stars get are deserved but I think they also get quite a few against them that aren't called that clearly should be.

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11-19-2011, 05:50 PM
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Yeah. Like piqued said about Benn, he has been given 2 or 3 penalties just for being better than a guy in a puck battle, BUT he also doesn't get calls when people try to hang onto to him like most good players do yet. That is our biggest case when complaining about penalties. Morrow needs to just shut his yap and play the game. Or tell Gully if he's hurt or whatever.

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11-19-2011, 06:24 PM
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Yeah, I didn't want to be the fan crying about calls or non-calls but there were two or three that could/should have gone our way in that Colorado game that just weren't called. Loui going into the boards like he did doesn't sit right with me, especially when Barch took a boarding call against Letang who was doing his best JFK impersonation and then had a miraculous recovery in time to be on the Pens' 1st PP unit.

Benn seems to not draw as many as he should in part because he just doesn't quit on a lot of plays. There are times when other players are put in a position to really go down hard on trips where Benn kind of rights himself or keeps playing from his knees and he doesn't get the call. It's a tough thing because you want your players to play through all that b.s. but when other players sell a questionable penalty and get the PP it's just the reality of the situation.

Morrow just needs to pull his head out of his ass. He looks every bit the part of a 3rd line winger this season...bad penalties, lack of production, inconsistency. Now that I think about it that sounds more like a 4th line player because B Mo hasn't even been consistent in his defensive play.

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11-19-2011, 06:48 PM
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Frankly I kind of agree with him. The best example I can think of was last night with about a minute left and robidas get a penalty for barely touching winnick on his way past him. Winnick dropped like a sack of bricks in what was the most blatant dive of the night and they still called the bs penalty to put us shorthanded for the rest of the game. There's no way that anybody who saw that can agree that was a penalty.

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11-19-2011, 09:55 PM
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The Stars were heavily penalized tonight against the Stars, and the Stars earned every one of those.

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11-19-2011, 10:57 PM
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Sounds like he's sticking to the same theory to me. From tonight's postgame:
I do have issues with the officiating. I might sound like a whiny coach, but I had some beefs with the officiating when we were 11-3 and now we’re 11-8 and I still have them. I think those beefs are warranted. We’ve been kind of keeping a log of it. I think we are on the wrong end of a lot of calls, but I think it is our fault. I think it’s our fault. We whine like little babies throughout the game and I don’t know if there’s been a history of that here or not, but every team I’ve coached we’ve always been at the other end of the scale. We are the worst differential in the league and every team I’ve coached we’ve always been the opposite and the least penalized team in the league. That’s going to change. We’re going to change that culture here. We’ve got to do it by zipping our mouths one step at a time. Refs are human and if you whine that much they are not going to give you calls.
...
We’re going to be men, we’re going to have character, we’re going to shut our mouths and we’re going to play.

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/stars...game-quotes-17

If he thinks a team with Morrow and Ott as its leaders are going to shut their mouths.... um...

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11-19-2011, 11:02 PM
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There's a difference between yapping at the other team and yapping at the refs though. It sounds like he wants his team to stop crying to the refs for calls and protesting calls against.

Found the middle part of that quote interesting:

Quote:
“We have to play less frustrated when adversity hits. That’s going to change. I’ll tell you guys this honestly, I’ll use this forum to vent. I’ll be glad to go back to Saskatchewan if we don’t get out of this, but at the end of the day we’re going to do it the way we’re going to do it. We’re going to be men, we’re going to have character, we’re going to shut our mouths and we’re going to play. If that’s not good enough then so be it.”


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11-19-2011, 11:15 PM
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Wow, those quotes really make me like gully even more.

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11-19-2011, 11:32 PM
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Those quotes make me wonder how long he'll last as an NHL coach.

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11-19-2011, 11:35 PM
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After listening to Gulutzan's postgame press conference it seems he feels pretty strongly that his team whines, complains, and talks too much to the refs in general. Obviously, he feels that those things are tied to the disparity in penalties for/against and while I'm not sure they are the primary factor, they probably are a factor to some degree.

I like and respect that he won't stand for his players mouthing off to the refs; you could hear in his voice that it touches on some much deeper things regarding the makeup of the team at a mental/emotional level. It comes down to accountability and individuals making excuses and he said flat out that he won't stand for it.


Quote:
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Those quotes make me wonder how long he'll last as an NHL coach.
He'll be fine as long as his GM has his back and makes corresponding moves to accommodate his philosophy. That means being on board with whatever the coach deems necessary to send the message, i.e. benching, change of roles, PP time, bringing up hungry young bucks looking to make it in the NHL.

I like the move to bring in some veterans over the summer but what really needs to change is this mostly veteran team feeling like "hey, we've got this." They clearly don't and they don't have the horses to have that kind of attitude in the first place.


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11-19-2011, 11:45 PM
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I'm curious how he's going to change the culture and get vets like Morrow and Ott to shut up @ the refs without going into "hard ass" territory though. Everything we've heard about him is a player's coach who's a teacher more than a disciplinarian. How's he going to break Morrow's bad habits without benching him?

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11-20-2011, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnholyPrince View Post
I'm curious how he's going to change the culture and get vets like Morrow and Ott to shut up @ the refs without going into "hard ass" territory though. Everything we've heard about him is a player's coach who's a teacher more than a disciplinarian. How's he going to break Morrow's bad habits without benching him?
I don't think he has the balls to bench Morrow. I don't know if he has the balls to even do what I propose, which is demoting Morrow to 3rd line duty. Take away his safety blanky and make him get back to playing defense first hockey. I would also take away every second of his PP time until further notice.

Early on in his career Morrow was a balls to the wall maniac defending the other team. He's gotten complacent in his role as a go-to offense producer and needs to get back to the meat and potatoes that allowed him to play with top offensive players like Modano, Arnott, and Ribeiro in the first place. Make him focus on a simple task and give Fraser or Vincour his spot next to Ribeiro. Send Barch to freaking Siberia or whatever; bury the **** out of his contract FFS.

If ever there were a situation that called for infusion of young, horny-for-NHL-hockey players, now is that time. And jesus H, play Larsen or send him back down but for godsakes don't scratch him over Adam ****ing Pardy and his bag of turd.

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11-20-2011, 12:11 AM
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Oh yeah if he is blaming the stars players i agree. with him. Morrow and Robidas are always whining about something and these are supposed to be your locker room leadership guys.

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11-20-2011, 01:04 AM
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http://video.stars.nhl.com/videocent...1092&id=136451

In the beginning of this video Ott talks a little bit about what they're talking about in the room apparently. They talk about laying off the refs but they also need to stop taking stupid obvious ones like Morrow's crosscheck that he pulls at least once every game.

http://video.stars.nhl.com/videocent...1092&id=136416

The video from the above post-game quote. Gully's body language and tone of voice during that portion is pretty telling of his frustration with the team.

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11-21-2011, 01:02 PM
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Those quotes make me wonder how long he'll last as an NHL coach.
Seriously?

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11-21-2011, 04:11 PM
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Seriously?
Well, yeah. Coaches who basically call their team a bunch of whiners, true or not, might not have the longest career.

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11-21-2011, 04:15 PM
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Well, yeah. Coaches who basically call their team a bunch of whiners, true or not, might not have the longest career.
If there was a time he could get away with it, it'd be right now.

Am glad he's doing it. You see them doing it every game (even though most of their complaints are warranted).

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11-21-2011, 04:22 PM
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If there was a time he could get away with it, it'd be right now.

Am glad he's doing it. You see them doing it every game (even though most of their complaints are warranted).
Oh i agree I am glad he is doing it, but he does run the risk of losing some guys, especially a few who are in leadership position.

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02-06-2012, 12:36 AM
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So the disparity has actually gotten worse. They're at a negative 38:14 now. It's not evening out.

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02-06-2012, 09:33 AM
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I think the more likely explanation is that this team sucks and is undisciplined.

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