Monday, February 21, 2011

Why Penalty Minutes Matter In Fantasy Hockey

Another rotogrinders thread that tilts me. This could become a regular feature on my blog.

Ohmsy started this thread complaining that penalty minutes (or PIMs) should not be counted as positive points. Please let me tell you why PIMs matter and why they should be counted as positive points. Three reasons:

1) It gives value to defensive players, such as checking lines & stay at home defensemen. (If you don't know those terms, please send me your user ID so I can play you in fantasy hockey tonight.) There is such a thing as a good penalty. Your player gets a minor but prevented a high percentage scoring chance, that was a good play for the team.

Fighting also creates PIMs. Fights usually happen when a team is down big, the only way to retaliate is to drop the gloves. You will hear annoucers say, "He's trying to give the team some energy", or "He's making a statement." Fights also happen after a team takes a cheap shot on an opposing star. The fighters are called enforcers because they protect the scorers.

Remove the PIMs from scoring and the only players that have value are the top 6 forwards, the QB of the power play and the starting goalie.

2) PIMs add the right amount of the variance to the game. It is VERY difficult to project PIMs. You can never tell when a misconduct or a match penalty will be called. This actually helps the newbies a bit, they can donk their way to a victory occasionally with a little help from the referee.

Again, remove the PIMs and the game is all about goal scoring, nothing else.

3) PIMs are part of the history of fantasy hockey. While fantasy hockey may be new to many of you, it actually pre-dates fantasy baseball (at least in Canada). Hockey pools were in existence long before the original rotisserie baseball league was started in the early 80's.

Removing PIMs would be like removing stolen bases from fantasy baseball. It's a traditional scoring element.

Now if you hate PIMs but still want to play fantasy hockey, you should head over to Fantasy Sports Live because the scoring minimizes penalty minutes at just 1 point per PIM.

1 comment:

Mr, Dangle said...

Interesting take. I've spent some time considering it myself.

On one had I do agree with the critics that wonder why a penalty is treated as a positive stat. I see what your saying about the game-changing fights, and the goal-stopping minors, however for each one of those there are at least 3 dumb penalties or staged fights.

Your best point IMO is that it makes use of defensive players, and adds more strategy because of that. It's also a lot better than the fluke stats GWG and SHP (In H2H leagues).

Anyways, solid post! I just started up a Fantasy Hockey blog myself and I'm looking for others who share the interest.