Dallas Stars Penalty Report Card: January 2014 in Individual Minors

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

All hail Ryan Garbutt?

Even though we've almost reached the end of the Dallas Stars games in February (seriously, there's only two left because of the time off for the Winter Olympics), we've still got time to take a look back at the last month in minor penalties.

Earlier this week, I broke down how last month went for the Stars in terms of team minors. Today, we're going to examine how the individual players have fared over the course of the whole season. The way my spreadsheet works, I can't break down player minors by month very easily. However, using the data from last month, I'll call out a few key contributors.

So here's the chart for which players have committed the most unmatched minors this season and what exactly they've been called for. Try to contain your shock about the top of the list.

As a note, the matching minors in the far right column are not included in the total - they're simply placed there for reference purposes.

Player Total Safety Obstruction Other Matching
Ryan Garbutt 22 9 (3 slash, board, cross check, high stick, high stick double, illegal check to head, knee) 9 (3 hold, 3 interference, 2 trip, hook) 4 (3 delay of game,  unsportsmanlike) 2
Antoine Roussel 18 10 (4 cross check, 4 rough, elbow, slash) 5 (2 hold, 2 trip, goalie interference) 3 (2 unsportsmanlike, instigator) 9
Shawn Horcoff 16 6 (2 high stick, board, high stick double, slash, rough) 10 (7 hook, hold, hold the stick, interference) - 2
Brenden Dillon 13 8 (2 high stick, board, cross check, elbow, slash, rough, knee) 3 (hold, hook, trip) 2 (delay) 4
Trevor Daley 12 - 12 (5 hook, 4 hook, 2 interference, trip) - 1
Alex Goligoski 11 5 (2 cross check, high stick, slash, rough) 6 (2 hold, 2 hook, interference, trip) - 1
Jordie Benn 10 5 (cross check, elbow, high stick, slash, rough) 2 (hook, interference) 3 (2 delay of game, smothering puck) 1
Alex Chiasson 8 5 (3 cross check, high stick, slash) 3 (2 hook, interference) - 1
Jamie Benn 8 3 (cross check, high stick, slash) 5 (2 trip, hold, hook, interference) - 4
Cody Eakin 8 2 (high stick) 6 (3 hook, 2 trip, hold) - -
Vernon Fiddler 8 3 (2 rough, slash) 3 (2 hook, hold) 2 (delay, face off violation) 4
Erik Cole 7 - 7 (3 interference, 2 hold, hook, trip) - 1
Stephane Robidas 6 - 6 (2 hold, 2 interference, 2 trip) - -
Sergei Gonchar 6 2 (cross check, slash) 5 (2 hold, hook, trip) - -
Ray Whitney 5 1 (high stick) 4 (4 hook) - -
Kevin Connauton 5 - 5 (3 trip, interference, hold) - -
Rich Peverley 3 - 3 (hold, hook, trip_ - 1
Valeri Nichushkin 2 1 (high stick) 1 (hold stick) - -
Tyler Seguin 2 - 1 (hook) 1 (delay) -
Jamie Oleksiak 1 - 1 (trip) - -
Aaron Rome 1 1 (rough - - 1
Kari Lehtonen 1 - - 1 (delay) 1
Cameron Gaunce - - - - 1

A couple things worth mentioning here.

First, two Dallas Stars players have given up penalty shot attempts against (because this is the year of the penalty shot in Dallas, apparently). Dillon tripped a player on a breakaway to give up his opportunity, and Gonchar hooked a player in the same situation. Additionally, the high stick that was called on Nichushkin was really committed by Garbutt, and a slash that was given to Goligoski was really committed by Fiddler.

Finally, Garbutt's five-game suspension for charging was not called a penalty during the run of play (though it was certainly deserving of one), and one of his matching minors is not the usual matching roughs, but an interference that was matched with an opponent's dive. The same can be said in reverse for Jamie Benn, who dove against the Devils but had it matched with a trip.

In a shocking development, Garbutt and Roussel are your leaders in the clubhouse for most unmatched minors in January with eight and seven, respectively, in 15 games. On average, that's one penalty from the pair every game in the month. To make matters worse, the Stars combined for 45 unmatched minors in January, making Garbutt and Roussel responsible for a full 1/3 of them. That's a bit much, even for players who want to make their living as agitators.

In Garbutt's case, six of the eight penalties were of the obstruction variety, which is at least a change from his previous M.O. of unnecessary safety calls. He was nailed for three holds, two interference and a trip last month as week as well as a slash and a high stick.

Roussel went the other way, taking four safety calls (two roughs, a cross check and a slash), two obstruction (hold, goalie interference) and an unsportsmanlike. Both he and Garbutt really need to sneak their toes a little closer to the line, as it's obvious their reputations have started to precede them.

At least in Garbutt's case, he almost makes up for the high call rate with an equally high number of calls drawn, and he was by far the leader in that category last month. Here's a look at the full chart.

Player Total Safety Obstruction Other Penalty shots drawn
Ryan Garbutt 20 7 (4 rough, elbow, high stick, high stick double) 13 (5 hold, 4 interference, 3 trip, hook) - -
Jamie Benn 17 7 (2 high stick, 2 high stick double, cross check, slash, rough) 10 (3 hold, 3 trip, 2 hook, 2 interference) -
Tyler Seguin 13 4 (2 high stick, rough, head) 9 (3 hold, 3 trip, 2 hook, interference) -
Valeri Nichushkin 12 1 (high stick double) 11 (9 hook, hold, interference) 2 (hook, trip)
Antoine Roussel 11 4 (2 high stick, cross check, slash) 6 (3 hook, 2 interference, hold stick) 1 (unsportsmanlike) 2 (hook, trip)
Vernon Fiddler 11 4 (2 slash, board, rough) 7 (3 trip, 2 hook, hook, interference) - 1 (hook)
Erik Cole 11 - 11 (3 hold, 3 interference, 2 rip, hook, hold stick) - -
Brenden Dillon 8 3 (2 rough, high stick) 5 (2 hold, 2 hook, interference) - -
Alex Chiasson 8 1 (rough) 7 (5 hook, interference, trip) - 1 (hook)
Cody Eakin 8 2 (board, slash) 6 (3 hook, hold, interference, trip) - -
Alex Goligoski 7 6 (4 high stick, 1 high stick double, slash) 1 (hook) - -
Shawn Horcoff 6 2 (high stick, rough) 4 (2 hook, hold, trip) - -
Kari Lehtonen 6 2 (high stick, slash) 4 (4 goalie interference) - -
Jordie Benn 5 3 (2 high stick, rough) 2 (interference, trip) - 1 (thrown stick)
Sergei Gonchar 5 3 (charge, high stick, slash) 1 (trip) 1 (unsportsmanlike) -
Rich Peverley 4 2 (high stick, slash) 2 (interference, trip) - -
Stephane Robidas 3 3 (2cross check, slash) - - -
Trevor Daley 3 2 (board, high stick) 1 (hold) - -
Dustin Jeffrey 3 1 (board) 2 (hook, trip) - -
Ray Whitney 2 1 (board) 1 (hook) - -
Kevin Connauton 2 - 2 (interference, trip) - -
Jamie Oleksiak 1 - 1 (hook) - -
Cameron Gaunce 1 - 1 (trip) - -

I couldn't resist the penalty shot column on this one. It really is kind of epic this year (and as we've discussed before, has already tied the NHL record for penalty shots earned and goals scored with seven and four, respectively).

Additionally, two Stars have drawn unmatched majors this year - Goligoski, who was boarded, and Roussel, who was the victim of the very rare unmatched fight.

Garbutt drew seven unmatched minors in January, with two roughs, a high stick, two holds and two trips. He continues to draw the majority of his calls via his speed and possession during the run of play, though drawing two unmatched roughs does indicate he's finally starting to draw the type of agitating attention he seems to have been looking for all season.

Jamie Benn remains near the top of this list but had a relatively quite month with only two calls drawn, while Tyler Seguin grabbed four calls that were evenly split between safety and obstruction. Valeri Nichushkin had an awesome month in this area. With his speed and size, he's become quite the master of drawing a hook, and he drew four plus a bonus interference last month.

It continues to be a very good year for the Stars in the area of penalties, especially if Garbutt and Roussel can find a better balance and not spend two minutes a game in the box. A girl can dream, right?

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