Hello playoff fans,
I would assume that most of you have noticed that quite a few games in this years' playoffs have been very intense battles, to say the least.
People have been asking me if we really are seeing more fights than usual? Are penalty minutes on the rise? Or is this just your usual playoff "intensity"?
Think of it: when previously concussed superstars Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux end up throwing blows at each other, there must some serious hatred going on.
"There's always more fighting in the playoffs."
Well, not quite. If you look at the below chart, which covers the last seven years of both regular season and playoff stats (all brought down to an 82 game average) you will notice that, on average, there are more than twice as many fights in the regular season (42 fighting majors per 82 games) as there are in playoffs (19 fighting majors per 82 games).
But what about this year?
Well, this year is a little different, indeed. Fighting majors are on the rise by 280% against the seven year average. This is only after 34 games (roughly 20% of usual 170-175 post season games), so things could change.
But game misconducts are also on the rise, by a whopping 450% over the same seven season average.
That's a clear indication that there have been quite a few more brawls than usual.
The 2011-12 regular season saw a decrease in minor penalties and total penalty minutes awarded for the seventh straight season. In fact, penalty minutes per game have been going down every year since the lockout.
The playoff numbers were pretty much following the same trend – until this year.
Is this the year the numbers go off the charts?