The effectiveness of “rough play” as an on-ice operational strategy in the
National Hockey League (NHL) was examined for the effect on season outcomes
(e.g., Stanley Cup playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup), and on-ice performance (e.g.,
Points, Wins). Four measures of rough play were analyzed (Penalties in Minutes
(PIM), number of Major Penalties, number of Minor Penalties, PIM Differential).
There were no significant differences between eventual Stanley Cup winners or
playoff teams and other teams in the regular season, but Stanley Cup Finalists had
significantly fewer PIM. Rough play was not found to be an effective strategy for
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