Stats in the Sin Bin: Two Minutes for Shoddy Science
April 26, 2012 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Power (Dis)Play? Teams In Black Draw More Penalties Hockey teams wearing darker-colored jerseys are more likely to be penalized for aggressive fouls than teams wearing white jerseys, according to new research. Teams wearing black jerseys in particular get penalized the most, according to an analysis that may offer a window into the hidden psychological dynamics of the ongoing NHL playoffs.
"Teams that wore black jerseys were penalized more, significantly more, than teams wearing other colored jerseys," said researcher Gregory Webster of the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Except when they're not.

Setting aside the researcher's correlation/causation confusion, and goofy assertions ("One possibility is that players wearing darker colored jerseys are more visible on the ice than players wearing white, allowing referees to spot fouls more easily."), the study's findings aren't exactly supported by recent PIM [penalty in minutes] numbers from the NHL.

Five teams wear black jerseys: Anaheim, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. According to Webster, they should be among the most penalized in the league, right?

Ranking for total PIMs, among 30 NHL teams:

2011-12 season
#3. Boston [1103 minutes]
#8. Dallas [1032]
#10. Anaheim [980]
#14. Los Angeles [923]
#19. Pittsburgh [880]

2010-11 season
#2. Pittsburgh [1388]
#5. Anaheim [1178]
#8. Boston [1115]
#13. Dallas [1066]
#16. Los Angeles [962]

2009-10 season
#3. Anaheim [1321]
#6. Pittsburgh [1195]
#16. Los Angeles [979]
#18. Dallas [963]
#20. Boston [953]

2008-09 season
#2. Anaheim [1426]
#12. Los Angeles [1207]
#15. Dallas [1144]
#18. Pittsburgh [1114]
#25. Boston [1028]

And what % of those penalties were received while playing in their black jerseys on home ice?

2011-12 season
Los Angeles [54.60%]
Dallas [49.03%]
Boston [46.96%]
Anaheim [46.22%]
Pittsburgh [45.91%]

2010-11 season
Boston [58.39%]
Dallas [48.59%]
Los Angeles [48.34%]
Pittsburgh [43.30%]
Anaheim [39.13%]

2009-10 season
Boston [51.52%]
Anaheim [47.77%]
Dallas [47.25%]
Los Angeles [44.84%]
Pittsburgh [41.67%]

2008-09 season
Pittsburgh [53.41%]
Boston [51.95%]
Anaheim [51.05%]
Los Angeles [45.65%]
Dallas [45.28%]
posted by wensink (0 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: As sort of a rebuttal to a writeup of a behind-a-paywall research paper, this really feels like something to post on your own blog, not on the front page of Metafilter. -- cortex


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