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The Men In The Box

07/03/2013 1:26 PM - Mike Peck

By: Alex Spors

Last season, the Rockford IceHogs led the AHL in penalty minutes and were shorthanded the third most in the league behind only Portland and Norfolk.

Rockford allowed 60 power play goals against (PP GA) in 2012-13 on 365 shorthand chances. This put them in the top ten for most PP GA in the AHL. But having the most penalty minutes in the league means more power plays and with them, more opposing shots on goal during power plays. The IceHogs killed off 83.6% of their penalties overall in 2012-13, ranking 13th in the AHL.

Here is a look at the players responsible for causing the most power plays, resulting in power play goals in 2012-13.

Ryan Stanton: The D-man has had the unfortunate honor of causing the most power plays out of any IceHogs player the past two seasons. Due to his penalties, he is responsible for 35 power plays each of the last two years (70 overall). Last season, while Stanton was in the box, five goals were scored by opposing teams. That makes a Power Play Goals Against Percentage (PP GA %) of 14.3%.

Martin St. Pierre: The center came in third among the IceHogs roster for power plays caused, but had the most goals scored during those power plays. While St. Pierre was spending his time in the box, the opposing team scored seven goals.

St. Pierre also led the team in his power play goals against percentage. With seven PPGA in 26 power plays, it comes out to 26.9% of the time he spent in the box there was a goal scored by the opposing
team.

Third in line:  2012-13 team Rookie of the Year Adam Clendening, Nick Leddy, and the AHL’s leading scorer Brandon Pirri are tied for third for PP GA with four goals scored during their caused power plays. Each of these three not only had four goals scored against them, but they caused some of the most power plays out of the entire roster. Pirri ranked second with 29, Clendening tied St. Pierre with 26, and Leddy comes in right after that with 24.

There are a lot of power plays (79) and goals against (12) between these three. Percentage wise, Clendening and Leddy are in the middle of the pack with 16.7% (Leddy) and 15.4% (Clendening). Pirri was third to last in terms of percentages with a 13.8% PP GA %.

Percentages: Speaking of percentages, Brandon Saad follows St. Pierre with 22.2%, but on a team with 16 players causing double-digit power plays, Saad doesn’t look that bad with his nine caused and two goals allowed during his time in the penalty box. Those two still weren’t helping the team, but it proves that percentages can be a bit misleading with Stanton (5 GA, 35 PP) coming in at his 14.3%.

Season to season: As mentioned before, Stanton remained pretty consistent in his penalties from 2011-12 to 2012-13. With him in the box the team allowed one less goal from six to five, but Stanton held firm at that 35 power plays allowed. One thing that did improve was the high percentage scores. The highest goals against to power plays allowed percentage was St. Pierre’s 26.9%.

In 2011-12, the highest percentage was a 100% by Mark McNeill who was in the penalty box only three times and the opponents took advantage of that opportunity each of the three times. You have to go down the list five more names before you reach a percentage lower than the highest mark this past season.

Overall, there were too many penalty minutes for Rockford in 2012-13. Towards the end of the season, the IceHogs really started to lower the number of minutes. This started happening around the time after their January 19th bench clearing brawl with Grand Rapids. After Rockford pulled out of the six game losing streak started by that January 19th contest, they went 22-8-1-0, compared to 20-23-1-1 up to that point.