Getty ImagesDrawing a penalty is, in our estimation, one of the true exemplary aspects of a successful forward in the NHL.
It shows you’re working hard, getting chances, forcing your opponent to do something illegal and detrimental to their own team to stop you. Or, in some cases, you’re a nefarious diver whose sneaky behavior makes you both a scourge on the League’s moral standing ... and a complete asset to your team.
Conversely, forwards that take penalties more than they draw them are problematic. In some cases, it’s just doing your job as a fourth-line goon or defensive forward. In other cases, perhaps you’re not earning enough penalties to offset your lapses.
Like, for example, Thomas Vanek of the New York Islanders.
Vanek is a player that, for whatever reason, takes more penalties than he draws. That was the case last season for the Buffalo Sabres, when he took four and drew nothing. And that’s the case thus far this season with the Sabres and the Islanders, as he’s the worst player – Read More »from Penalty plus/minus: Which NHL forwards are helping, hurting teams most?