KUSA- The hockey penalty box has defined many careers in the NHL over the years. Overly aggressive defensive play, a high stick, or even the fan favorite fight will give almost every NHL player time in the penalty box at one point during the season. Unless you're Ryan O'Reilly from the Colorado Avalanche who hasn't spent one minute in the box this season.
"It's a lot of good luck. I think obviously there are some times where maybe I could've gotten away with one," O'Reilly said Wednesday. "I don't think about it too much, it's obviously not a great stat to have. It would be nice to have a fight or two to make me look a little tougher," he continued.
O'Reilly's 70 game streak without a penalty is currently 7th all-time. If the Avalanche forward plays the final nine games of the season without getting the whistle blown in his direction, he will overtake Butch Goring of the NY Islanders mark of 78 games with no penalty minutes during the 1980-81 season.
"When I get on the ice I never worry about not taking a penalty, I just think to play the game and work hard. As long as I can be effective and stay out of the box that's my goal really," O'Reilly said.
O'Reilly's dubious mark of avoiding the penalty box has come with some good natured ribbing from his teammates.
"They call me a little soft on how I haven't taken a penalty yet but it's all good stuff I guess," O'Reilly said with a big smile.