If you watch enough hockey, you’ve probably heard the term “PIMs” thrown around here and there by play-by-play commentators to refer to current players or up-and-coming prospects. But what is PIM in hockey? And why is it so important? Let’s take a closer look at how penalty minutes impact the game of hockey.
What is Pim in Hockey Stats?
PIM stands for Penalty Infraction Minutes and it is a term used in hockey statistics to track the amount of penalties incurred by players, teams or both. PIMs, or penalty minutes, are awarded by the referee when a player breaks the rules of the game. They are calculated as the total number of penalty minutes accrued by a player or team over some time.
Depending on the severity of the infringement, penalties usually result in the offending player spending time in the penalty box and being unable to participate in play, while his or her team plays “short-handed” or with one fewer player on the ice for some time.For the short-handed team, this is referred to as a penalty kill, while for the opposing team; it is referred to as a power play.
A power play is a big advantage in hockey since having more skaters than the opposition means that someone is constantly available on the ice, which leads to more scoring opportunities.
Furthermore, while a player is in the penalty box, there is more open ice, giving players more time to make judgments and make more precise passes.When a team is on the power play, they will generally use a combination of their most adept passers and shooters to create as many scoring chances as possible.
Power plays have shown to be productive for teams with the man-advantage in the past, with roughly 20% of a team’s goals scored on the power play throughout a season.A penalty called at the wrong time may dramatically shift the flow and outcome of a game, so let’s take a look at the many penalties that can be seen throughout a hockey game.
How is PIM calculated for the different types of penalties?
During a hockey game, the PIM stat estimates how many penalty minutes each player earns. If a team on the power play scores during a game, a player may be freed from the penalty box early.
The PIM calculation is unaffected by these circumstances. Instead, regardless of whether or not a player serves the whole time, PIM keeps track of how many penalty minutes are issued to each player.
The number of penalty minutes a player receives is determined by the nature of the penalty. Depending on the rule the player breached, there are several punishments. Some penalties are more significant than others, which is why players are given varied penalty timeouts. Let’s look at how the PIM is calculatedfor the different types of punishments a player might face if they disobey the rules:
1. Major Penalties
Because a major penalty is more significant, the player will be given a 5-minute timeout. If the other side scores, a player who has received a major penalty will not be removed from the penalty box early.
They must stay in the box for the whole 5 minutes. When two players fight, their penalties cancel each other out, even if fighting is a likely cause of the large penalty.Aggressive conduct like boarding, spearing, or cross-checking are some of the most prevalent reasons a player would get a big penalty.
Players are subjected to major penalties for more serious offenses, and they are frequently invoked in very dangerous situations. Major infractions earn the guilty player five penalty minutes, as well as a five-minute power play for the other side.
Major penalties are distinct in that the guilty player must remain in the penalty box for the whole five minutes, regardless of how many goals are scored during penalty time.A little-known truth about significant penalties is that a team’s success rate is mathematically impossible to achieve.
This is because each goal scored during a big power-play counts as 1/1, whereas when the time on a major penalty expires, it is statistically counted as 0/1, regardless of how many goals were scored.
In other words, if a team scored three goals on a huge power play, it would be considered 3/4 or 75 percent statistically. Players are also subjected to severe penalties if they engage in combat. Hockey is the only major sport in which fighting does not result in an automatic ejection.
2. Minor Penalties
A player must wait in the penalty box for two minutes after receiving a minor penalty. This punishment is used as a warning for less serious violations.A minor penalty has one advantage: if the other team scores while a player is in the penalty box, the remainder of their time in the box is invalidated, and they are free to play again.
Although the player can resume the game early, their statistics will still include the whole PIM duration. The following are examples of situations that might result in a minor penalty:
- Delay of game
- High sticking
Minor penalties are the least serious offenses, resulting in two minutes in the penalty box and an opposition team power play. They are responsible for almost 88 percent of all penalties in the NHL. Hooking, cutting, high-sticking, tripping, and interfering are all examples of minor penalties.
The offender must stay in the box for two minutes or until the other team scores a power-play goal, whichever comes first.While two minutes may not seem like much of a penalty for breaching the rules, teams score one goal on average for every five power plays they receive, with the greatest teams in the league scoring one goal for every three.
PIMs may play a huge impact on a team’s performance throughout a season; especially given the average NHL game has 10 penalties called.
Players from rival teams may be issued minor penalties at the same moment, which are referred to as coincidental minors. When this occurs, neither team will be allowed a power-play; instead, the sides will play four-on-four, with the offending players remaining in the box for the entire two minutes.
3. Penalty Shots
A penalty shot is awarded to a defensive team that prevents a player with a clean shot from firing the puck towards the goaltender. It will also be awarded if the puck is stopped in the crease by the opposing team or goaltenders. There will be no PIM recorded when the referee assigns a penalty shot.
Penalty shots in hockey are some of the most thrilling and unusual moments in sports (less than 50 in most NHL seasons). A penalty shot is a one-on-one breakaway between the goaltender and the skater.
When a clear scoring opportunity is taken away due to an infraction, such as tripping or hooking during a breakaway, penalty shots are taken. Penalty shots are also awarded when a player other than the goaltender purposely covers the puck in the crease or tosses his or her stick to break up a play.
A little-known truth concerning penalty shots is that when the referee calls one while the guilty team’s goalkeeper is withdrawn, a goal is given automatically. In general, penalty shots result in goals around 33% of the time.Since the introduction of the shootout, penalty shots have lost some of their sparkles. Shootouts consist of each side taking a series of penalty shots.
4. Match Penalties
There will be no time penalty if a match penalty happens. For the remainder of the game, the offending player will be eliminated. When it comes to PIM, though, there are no set amount of minutes to record.To injure an opposition player, match penalties are issued, and nearly invariably come with further disciplinary actions from the league. When a player earns a match penalty, he or she is expelled from the current game and is automatically suspended for one game.The regulations for having another player in the box are the same as for misconduct and game misconduct punishments.In the NHL, video review is utilized to determine if a match penalty is merited or whether the punishment should be reduced.
When a player earns a match penalty, regardless of how much time is remaining in the game, the player is awarded 10 PIMs for statistical reasons, similar to a game misconduct.
5. Misconduct Penalties
When a player commits misbehavior, he or she will be penalized for ten minutes. This penalty will not be overturned, and the player will be required to serve the entire time. If another player obtains a minor or major penalty, the perpetrator will be forced to serve time in the penalty box. The offending player will not be permitted to return to the ice until the 10-minute penalty period has expired.
Misconduct penalties are usually awarded in combination with minor penalties and can be called for a variety of reasons, although they are usually tied to some form of unsportsmanlike behavior, such as screaming at a referee or making problems after a whistle has been blown.
When a player receives a misconduct penalty, he or she is suspended from the game for ten minutes. If a misconduct penalty is called in conjunction with a minor or major penalty, the minor or major penalty is served by another player on the offending side; nonetheless, all associated PIMs are given to the offending player, and the team is only short-handed for the minor or major penalty.
Because the team was not short-handed during the misconduct, the offending player was not allowed to return to the ice or bench until the first whistle after the 10-minute period had passed.
When a major penalty is called, the team that committed the misbehavior is not obligated to have a player serve the major penalty as long as someone is in the penalty box when the punishment is completed.If there are less than 10 minutes left in the period or the game is about to conclude, the offending player will usually serve the rest of the period in the locker room rather than the penalty box.
6. Double Minor Penalties
When a player receives two two-minute penalties at the same time, it is known as a double-minor penalty. When this happens, the penalty will be assigned to a single player for a single play. While this isn’t a regular punishment, you’re more likely to see a player receive one if they receive a penalty for high sticking that leads to another player’s bleeding.
The guidelines for reducing the time are slightly different since a double minor penalty is two penalties in one session. If the other side scores a goal while the player is in the first two minutes of their penalty, the first penalty will be invalidated, and the second two-minute clock will begin.
If that team scores again, the player will be relieved of the penalty, but his PIM time will remain at four minutes.
Types of Penalties
Minor, double minor, major, misconduct, game misconduct, and match penalties are all available, each with varying repercussions for the guilty player and his or her team.
Penalties are imposed for a variety of infractions. The following table highlights the many forms of penalties:
- Major Penalty
- Minor Penalty
- Game Misconduct Penalty
- Misconduct Penalty
- Double Minor Penalty
- Match Penalty
What is a good amount of PIM for a player?
Due to the popularity of fantasy hockey, many hockey fans perceive a high PIM to be a positive statistic. Fantasy hockey, like other fantasy sports, awards points to team managers depending on their team’s performance. Goals scored, shots on goal (SOG), power-play goals (PPG), plus-minus, game-winning goals (GWG), and so on are some of the most prominent hockey statistics.
Players in the NHL today take many fewer penalties than those in the last several decades. What is considered acceptable has evolved, as has the style of play. Fighting is down in the NHL, which is one of the key reasons. Fighting was common in video games in the 1980s. In the NHL nowadays, there is hardly little fighting. Penalty minutes have decreased as a result.
The majority of players in a game will receive 0 PIMs, with approximately a half-dozen on each side receiving 2-4 minutes. If they get above 4, it’s generally due to a brawl, and that’s on the high end.I’ve compiled a list of the players with the most PIMs in NHL history to give you an idea of how many PIMs a player might receive throughout his career.
- Individually, Dale Hunter is a distant second in penalty minutes. He accrued 3,565 penalty minutes throughout his long career. Hunter, on the other hand, was far more useful on the ice than Williams. With 323 goals and 697 assists, he had a plus-minus of 101. In his career, he scored 10 shorthanded goals, demonstrating his versatility as a player.
- David “Tiger” Williams has the most penalty minutes of any hockey player. Throughout his 14-year career, he accumulated 3,971 penalty minutes. That implies he averaged just over four penalty minutes per game in 962 games.
- With 569 careers PIM, Canadian goalkeeper Ron Hextall, who spent much of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, tops all goaltenders. Hextall also holds the record for most penalty minutes in a single season by a goalkeeper, at 113. Despite his proclivity for committing penalties, Hextall was a capable goalkeeper. In his career, he had a 895 save % and 23 shutouts, making him one of the top goalkeepers in the game’s history.
In conclusion, PIM is a unique hockey statistic that allows fans to track how many penalty minutes their favorite players get. This is a remarkable statistic since hockey is one of the only sports in which players must spend time in the penalty box.
Finally, to add some variety to the score, fantasy league owners prefer to use PIM. PIM allows spectators to cheer for their favorite goons and enjoy the sport’s combat. However, whether or not this is a rubbish metric is a point of contention among fantasy hockey players.