Oct 21, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT
Before the New York Rangers’ game in Vancouver on Tuesday night, coach John Tortorella gently reminded his team that it was taking too many penalties. Specifically, he made his players do push-ups when defenseman Jeff Woywitka tripped a teammate in practice.
“We have to be more disciplined,” Tortorella told reporters. “We’re a smart enough team to play our game the way we should play with discipline.”
After which his team put itself shorthanded eight times against the Canucks.
Two nights later in Calgary, it was five times.
Fortunately for the players, the Rangers won both games.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, coach Peter Laviolette was preaching the same message prior to the Flyers’ game with the Senators on Tuesday. He called his team’s parade to the penalty box to start the season “unacceptable.”
After which his team put itself shorthanded five times against the Sens.
Two nights later versus Washington, it was six times.
The Flyers hammered Ottawa, but lost to the Caps, 5-2.
This morning, Philly defenseman Kimmo Timonen addressed the penalties issue once again.
“Obviously, we talk about that almost every game, that we need to cut back on penalties and if we can minimize the penalties to four or five or whatever that is, that’s great, but anything that goes over four or five, that’s killing the bench,” Timonen said, as per Tim Panaccio at csnphilly.com.
Even four or five penalties can be too many, especially against a team like Washington, which scored its fourth goal (courtesy Alex Ovechkin) with the man advantage, snuffing out any chance for a Philly comeback.
Further proof of the importance of staying out of the box came last night when the Lightning beat the Islanders, 4-1. Tampa Bay, which had put itself shorthanded a ridiculous 37 times in its first six games (five of them defeats), only had to kill two penalties against the Isles.
“We were spending the whole game in the penalty box,” Lighning coach Guy Boucher said after last night’s game. “We just needed to put it all together. And that’s discipline. It’s total focus. That’s what we were lacking in the last games.”
Most times shorthanded per game:
NY Rangers — 6.2
Philadelphia — 6.0
Tampa Bay — 5.6
Least times shorthanded per game:
Florida — 2.6
Detroit — 2.8
Chicago — 2.8
- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 4
- Discuss: Kings dominate Game 5, one win away from Western Conference final 17
- Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead 35
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win 69
- What they’re saying about the Avs hiring Patrick Roy 6
- It’s official: Colorado names Roy sixth head coach in franchise history 46
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 38
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 26
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 35
- Don Cherry: Canucks GM Gillis threw coaches ‘under the bus’ 28
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (113)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Watch LIVE: Sharks-Kings, Game 5
- PHT: Wings push Hawks to brink of elimination
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional
- OlyTalk: Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- CSN: Francona returns to Boston | Legacy?
- Posnanski: Hornets more than a name to Charlotte
- Play Video: Highlights: Kings beat Sharks, take series lead
- Play Video: Brown takes out goalie Niemi
- Play Video: Demers commits reckless penalty
- Play Video: Demers slashes Doughty, but no call made
- Play Video: Niemi robs Carter to preserve tie
- Play Video: Highlights: Wings take 3-1 series lead over 'Hawks