1 - Tom Wilson’s penalty minute per game rate so far this season, with just seven minor penalties through 14 games. Carried out over a full season, that would drop him below 100 PIM for the first time in his career (40+ minutes shy of his all-time low, which was last year’s 128, and around 50 minutes shy of his full-season low of 133 back in 2016-17).
Unsurprisingly given the dip in total minutes, his average penalties taken per game have gone down as well, at .50 on the dot - just slightly reduced from last season’s .56, and equaling his career low from his rookie season. He’s taken a penalty in around 36% of games this year - just five total - which over a full season would be a career low.
Granted, he’s still no angel - and “only” having 14 penalty minutes through 14 games still puts him among the team leaders in that category. But the evidence would suggest that while he still has an edge, he’s choosing his moments better.
Not only has he not dropped the gloves, or taken a major penalty, this season, but he’s also but back on the types of penalties he’s taking. Of his seven minors this year, only one would fall into the “reckless” category, his charging penalty against the Leafs Tuesday night. He’s taken two roughing penalties - both coincidental - and added a couple of trips, one high-sticking minor, and a hook (which also ended up being a coincidental penalty).
So not only is he playing smarter, he’s also often taking someone with him - continuing his propensity for drawing penalties on opponents that has been an underrated aspect of his game over the years. As someone who has also become a key player on the penalty kill... that’s a win for both him and his team.