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Arnason and the luck of the draw

Despite the title, this actually has nothing to do with faceoffs. Tyler Arnason isn't very good at them (46.6%) and probably won't ever be very good at them. Enough said.

But there is something that Arnason is surprisingly good at: drawing penalties. Behind the Net has tracked which players are best at drawing penalties and Arnason is tops on the Avalanche with 21. And, since Arnason refuses to touch opposing players, he doesn't take many penalties. He has just 5 penalties taken compared to 21 drawn, a +16 differential. Here's how the forwards stack up (at least the 12 Gabe has listed. McLeod, for one, isn't on the list):

  1. Arnason, +16

  2. Brunette, +12

  3. Wolski, +10

  4. Stastny, +9

  5. Smyth, +6

  6. Hlinka, +5

  7. Hejduk, +2

  8. Sakic, +1

  9. McCormick, 0

  10. Guite, -2

  11. Laperriere, -2

  12. Svatos, -4

Smyth and Arnason lead the team in penalties drawn per 60 minutes, which tells me both players are contributing on the ice a bit more than their disappointing point totals might show.

On defense, there's some interesting numbers as well:

  1. Liles, +5

  2. Cumiskey, +2

  3. Finger, +1

  4. Clark, -1

  5. Leopold, -5

  6. Foote, -7

  7. Sauer, -8

  8. Hannan, -12

  9. Salei, -31

-31? Can that be right? According to these stats, Salei has taken 35 minor penalties - almost double Hannan's 18 - while only drawing 4. That is simply incredible. Only Chris Neil has more non-incidental minor penalties (38) and I couldn't find anyone approaching Salei's unbelievably lousy differential (I believe Cory Sarich is next with -26). In case you're curious, Karlis Skrastins has taken 12 and drawn 4...

It's also worth noting that Kyle Cumiskey's 1.2 penalties drawn per 60 minutes is 2nd among all defensemen (to a certain douchy Flames defenseman).