New Jersey Devils O-Zone Start/Finish Differentials

I was recently reading Defending Big D, and came across an article by user CJMotes. Here is the link for those interested. First of all, I would like to thank him for his work; this can be a legitimate formula in due time used by many hockey fans who support advanced statistics. If someone smarter than I can find a way to incorporate QualComp, special teams, etc. this can be a very useful tool. Second of all, I would like to take a look at some of the key Devils players in terms of this metric.

In the words of Defending Big D,

This is a great stat-centric look at which players do the best at "flipping the ice," using good possession skills to move the puck from a defensive start position to an offensive stop position -- basically, taking a defensive faceoff and having the puck stopped in the offensive zone.

The parameters I will use to define this are supplied by CJMotes in his fanpost; I'll find the standard score using 49.893 as the mean for Off-Zone starts and 7.013 as the standard deviation, and I will use 50.026 as the mean for Off-Zone finishes and 2.883 as the standard deviation. I will subtract the %Finish z-score from the %Start z-score, and will obtain the final ZZscore; the more negative it is, the better it is.

Let's look at some of the key Devils forwards by this metric:

NAME Off Zone Start % Off Zone Finish % Start Z-score Finish Z-score ZZ-score Shift
ILYAKOVALCHUK 56.2 52.9 0.90 1.00 -0.10
PATRICKELIAS 51.5 51.5 0.23 0.52 -0.29
ZACHPARISE 54.2 53.7 0.61 1.27 -0.66
DAINIUSZUBRUS 49.5 52.2 -0.06 0.75 -0.81

By this metric, Zubrus is the best at pushing the play into the offensive zone out of the Devils top forwards, comparable to the former-Ranger Brandon Dubinkski, who has a slightly better S/F Diff at -0.86. However, Zubrus played against tougher competition. Ilya Kovalchuk is slightly above average at pushing the play forward. Patrik Elias is slightly above average in terms of this, but keep in mind that he played against the second-toughest competition on the team (Behind Zach). Zach Parise is good at pushing the play from the defensive zone into the offensive zone; very good if you take into account his QoC.

In terms of the league, the best players are Tom Wandell, Jarrett Stoll, Steve Staios, and Max Pacioretty (As calculated by CJMotes). One must imagine Manny Malholtra isn't far behind, and at a ZZscore of -1.96 he is only .04 behind Max Pacioretty (Most likely 5th place in the NHL).

I don't have the time to make this a more imformative post, but if anyone wants to look at the Devil's roster as a whole and apply this metric, it could be very helpful. I just wanted to introduce this concept to the community of ILWT, and see if anyone had any feedback. And once again, thanks to CJMotes for coming up with the idea. A quick glance over our roster shows that the worst player in this regard is Cam Janssen, and that's without any calculations.

All FanPosts and FanShots are the respective work of the author and not representative of the writers or other users of In Lou We Trust.

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