The forwards had a strong night against the Predators. It wasn’t the sheer domination in terms of attempts like we’ve seen in other games this season (only 16 SAG). In particular, Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson were strong in the offensive zone, each generated 2 shot attempts. Jaromir Jagr continued to boss games at will, completing 10 of 12 passes and generating 4 shot attempts. Travis Zajac looked like he belonged on the number one line, completing 7 of 10 passes and generating 2 shot attempts. Dainius Zubrus was consistent as always, getting involved in each zone and he generated 1 shot attempt. Andrei Loktionov was a little off in the offensive zone, but still completed 7 of 11 passes and generated 2 attempts. Even Cam Janssen completed 2 passes!
Adam Larsson had his most efficient game this season in terms of defensive zone passes, completing all but 1 of his 21 attempts. He didn’t offer as much going forward in the neutral or offensive zones, but the Predators either weren’t pressing up the ice very much, or the Devils breakout was sublime. The defensemen averaged a completion percentage in their own zone of 92%. Anton Volchenkov had the fewest attempts, but, again, had a successful game. Simply put, this was the best passing game for the Devils defensemen.
Passing Data Explained:
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.
Zone Exit Stats:
Zubrus and Ryan Carter were the most consistent at exiting with possession (62 and 60%). Jagr, Damien Brunner, and Josefson were the only other forwards at 50% or higher. A majority of forwards were not as sharp exiting with possession, but overall it was a successful game of successful exits.
Eric Gelinas had a rough night. He committed three turnovers and had a 38% possession rate. Volchenkov also had a poor night in terms of possession (33%). The four other defenseman had strong nights. Marek Zidlicky (50%), Peter Harrold (55%), Larsson (75%), and Andy Greene (90%), illustrate how effective most of the defensemen were at keeping possession. Collectively, the group had a 57% rate, which is fantastic.
Zone Exits Explained: 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.
Every 10 games or so, I’ll post a separate article looking at overall play up to that point.
Have any questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit me up on Twitter at @RK_Stimp.