Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said staying out of the penalty box will be key against Washington Tuesday night. Sunday the Stars were shorthanded nine times against Carolina and so far this season the Stars have been shorthanded 66 times, the second most in the NHL and the most times per game.
Tuesday morning Gulutzan talked about what the Stars are trying to do cut down on the penalties and it has to do with changing the perception of the team.
“Every team I’ve coached we’ve been at the bottom of the league in penalties. I think maybe there is a little bit of a history here with us in this league,” Gulutzan said. “I am not saying that we’re getting calls unfairly, but it seems like we’ve got a short leash out there. I think we are going to try to change our perception, especially from the bench and how much we are talking to the referees because they’re only human and you get a reputation as a group. I am not quite sure what our reputation is in the league. I don’t know if it’s great.
“I think we have to clean it up from our end and we’re working towards it now. We’ve talked about it right from the start of the season and I think we’re getting better, but certainly we can’t keep taking nine minors. I don’t know if there is any history or carryover for what we are doing, but we certainly want to be a team that plays whistle to whistle and is not on the referee’s case. They’re human. If you argue once in a while and pick your spots it is going to mean something.
“I think that we’ve been a barrage of arguments over maybe a few years that, maybe, we have a reputation that we are working hard to change. We’re going to try to change that, so that we’re not always on the bad end of the penalties because I don’t think we’re a dirty team by any means. I think if we start cleaning up our act we’re going to start getting on the other end of things and maybe get a few calls. We are taking it seriously, certainly I am. We’ve talked to our group about it and we are trying to clean it up. We need to be one of the lower penalized teams in the league.”