Konopka Press Box Bound
(3/31/12) With the fantasy hockey regular season winding up, Zenon Konopka owners who could use a little help are pulling their hair out waiting for their stud to finally get back into the line-up. When he plays, he has the best PIM-per-game and fight-per-game averages in the NHL, unfortunately he's only dressed for 71% of the Senators contests in 2011-12. With 3.51 PIMs/game, Konopka would finish with 287 PIMs if he played all 82 games. Unfortunately, the Senators have gone with a more offensive lineup down the stretch as they attempt to qualify for the playoffs. However, once the postseason begins, we would expect to see Konopka rejoin Chris Neil (68GP, 169 PIMs - good for 4th in the NHL) in the lineup, as playoff success usually requires increased grit.
Derek Dorsett and Zac Rinaldo continue to duke it out for the PIMs lead, so far they are the only enforcers who have surpassed the 200 PIM plateau. However, Dorsett hasn't had a fight since returning from injury on March 17th, and Rinaldo hasn't fought since that date either. If Konopka could get back in the lineup in the final week, he could possibly catch them both in one game. In his last contest on March 23rd - a penalty filled affair against the Montreal Canadiens - Konopka recorded a fight and 19 PIMs. Chris Neil had 33 PIMs that day! As for the lead in major penalties, despite playing 20 less games, Konopka is currently tied at 19 with Shawn Thornton and Brandon Prust.
Here are the current enforcer statistical standings: