Pass: A reasonable and deliberate attempt to get the puck to a teammate which maintains possession or results in a shot attempt. This excludes zone clears, dump-ins, and anything that is akin to a desperate swipe at a loose puck. If a player passes a puck into space or off the boards, it finds a teammate, and it appears it was done deliberately, that shall be a pass. When in doubt, common sense will prevail.
What you see below is a chart illustrating pass completions, pass attempts, and pass percentages for each player in all three zones. A pass that goes across a zone or two will be marked as occurring in the zone it originates from.
Each completed pass that results in a shot taken by a teammate counts as one “shot attempt generated” or “SAG” in the chart below. This is tracked to attempt to determine which teammates are better at generating opportunities to shoot.
Forwards: Jaromir Jagr stood out tonight as he generated 7 shot attempts. He also was very effective in the neutral zone, completing 8 of 9 passes. I don’t think anyone is surprised by me saying he was the best forward on the ice tonight. Adam Henrique wasn’t his usual sharp self in the offensive zone, missing 3 of his 8 attempts, generating 2 shots in the process. Michael Ryder, Travis Zajac, and Danius Zubrus were the only other forwards to generate more than one shot (3 and 2, respectively). Zubrus put up a strong showing in all three zones (80% minimum in D and O, 100% in N).
Zajac and Mattias Tedenby set each other up for a few nice chances, not always resulting in a SAG, but there were moments that seemed promising. Of course, Tedenby also had one of the awful turnovers leading to a goal against (more on that in the zone exit section) and he completed only one of his three passes in the defensive zone. Zajac was 4 for 4 in the defensive zone.
Wherefore art thou Damien Brunner? He went 3 of 5 in the defensive zone…and that was basically it. For someone who’s on the team for speed and shots, he was next to useless tonight. I dare say that, horrible turnover aside, Tedenby showed much more than Brunner did tonight. I don’t see why he played if Josefson is sitting in the press box. Brunner is not the elite talent that can overcome whatever injury is obviously still plaguing him.
Andrei Loktionov continued to do well in the passing game, but failed to generate any shot attempts. And, no, I’m not putting that 3rd goal on him. That was on Peter Harrold as I’m working with the definition that a pass has to maintain possession and I think taking a slap-pass from five feet away is not a good play to attempt. Feel free to disagree, but why make a simple play harder than it needs to be?
Defense: Speaking of Harrold, apart from that play, he was quite efficient in all three zones, generating a shot attempt as well. Bryce Salvador was the most efficient of the six, Marek Zidlicky misfired on 3 of his o-zone attempts, and Mark Fayne started very strong, but misfired on several passes late in the game to drag down his percentage. Andy Greene was the most active in terms of total passes, and I’m starting to think Anton Volchenkov doesn’t even like to handle the puck. He either chips the puck out of the zone or passes to his defense partner virtually every time.
Zone Exits: Any attempt made by a player to advance the puck from their defensive zone. These actions fall into the below categories (as illustrated on the below chart).
(P) Pass: When a player passes the puck out of the zone and it successfully finds a teammate.
(C) Carry: When a player skates with the puck out of the zone, maintaining possession.
Successful Zone Exits without Possession
(FP) Failed Pass: When a player passes the puck out of the zone, but it fails to find its target.
(FC) Failed Carry: When a player skates with the puck out of the zone, but loses possession shortly thereafter.
(CH) Chip: When the player lifts the puck out of the zone or throws it off the boards and out.
(X) Other: Any action that results in a successful zone exit not already covered.
Unsuccessful Zone Exit
(PT) Pass Turnover: When a player fails to clear the zone with a pass and it results in a turnover to the opposition.
(CT) Carry Turnover: When a player fails to skate out of the zone with the puck and loses possession.
(I) Icing: An attempt to clear results in icing the puck.
(T) Turnover: Any action that results in a turnover not already covered.
Forwards: Jagr bossed it everywhere. He was successful on each exit attempt and maintained possession 71% of the time, which is exceptional based on the season’s results thus far. Zajac bested him a bit by exiting with possession 85% of the time, but he also turned the puck over once. Henrique had a 100% possession exit rate, but only had 2 exits compared to Jagr (7) and Zajac (6).
Rostislav Olesz and Ryan Carter were 100% on their exits, but this is a perfect example of the difference between ideal and successful exits. Olesz maintained possession 3 out of 5 times, whereas Carter failed to do so on each of his 4 attempts. As whole, the CBGB line was very successful clearing the zone, but collectively poor at maintaining possession.
Continuing the narrative from above, Brunner was at 33% for both exits and possession. Tedenby left a lot to be desired in this department as well. He continues to show flashes in the offensive zone, but Jacques Lemaire would have been all over him in the defensive zone.
Defense: Greene was easily the best defenseman tonight. Again, apart from Harrold’s 3rd goal turnover, he was nearly Greene’s equal. IN fact, every defenseman had an exit success rate of at least 70%, but the possession rates were night and day. Apart from Greene and Harrold, there were two tiers: Zidlicky’s less than desirable 42%, and Volchenkov’s, Salvador’s, and Fayne’s makes-you-want-to-shout-hey-you-suck 25%. Actually, the Russian Traffic Cone was only 20%. Horrible.
After the Vancouver game, I’ll post a separate article on both Passing and Zone Exit data for the first 10 games.
Have any questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit me up on Twitter at @RK_Stimp.