Forwards: Dainius Zubrus, Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr, and Adam Henrique all attempted at least 5 passes in the defensive zone tonight. Once my season-to-date post is up, I’ll look what a typical game might look like in terms of passing, but this seems like a lot of forward activity helping out in the defensive zone. Going forward, Zubrus and Zajac had the best nights, generating 3 and 4 shot attempts respectively and only misfiring on 1 pass between them. Elias has a tendency to throw a lot of blind passes in the offensive zone, which easily lose possession more often than not. He did generate 2 shot attempts, so I’d think it’d be higher if he looked around more often.
Jagr went 3 of 7 in the offensive zone, generating 1 shot attempt, and Henrique also generated 1 shot attempt. Andrei Loktionov has been quieter since being taken off the top line, but he still managed to create a shot attempt. Damien Brunner, Stephen Gionta, and Michael Ryder all created a shot attempt as well. The only Devils without one? Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter, and Cam Janssen.
Defense: Eric Gelinas didn’t have a great game as he went 6 of 9 in the defensive zone and 1 of 3 in the neutral zone. He didn’t attempt any passes in the Penguins end of the ice and failed to generate any shot attempts. He’s had a few turnovers each game recently and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lou send him back to Albany once Salvador/Volchenkov return. That is, after he benches Mark Fayne of course. Fayne didn’t do himself any favors, however, as he only had 1 pass in the defensive zone, which was very odd. He did go 2 of 3 in the offensive zone, so at least he was involved somewhat, but it was a curious stat line.
Andy Greene was especially busy this game, attempting 25 passes across all three zones and completing 21, generating 2 shot attempts. Marek Zidlicky had the lowest completion percentage among defensemen attempting 10 or more passes. He, Adam Larsson, and Peter Harrold each generated a shot attempt.
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 Forwards: Not a great night for the defense. Mark Fayne brought up the rear in terms of possession (20%), while Andy Greene wasn’t that much better (28%). Of course, Greene had the lowest overall success rate (42%) among the defensemen as well as 3 turnovers. No one was above 50%, with Peter Harrold the closest at 44% and Marek Zidlicky at 40%. Adam Larsson and Eric Gelinas both finished at 33%.
Defense: There were many strong performances from the forwards. Dainius Zubrus (60%), Damien Brunner (57%), Adam Henrique (55%), and Travis Zajac (58%) all had at least 7 zone exit attempts and finished above 50% possession rate. Zubrus did have 2 turnovers, which is unlike him. Patrik Elias was the only other forward with more than 7 attempts (10), but, unfortunately for Patty, he had a possession rate of 0%. Not a great night, but as he continues to work back into game shape, he should return to his usual solid numbers.
Steve Bernier had a 75% possession rate, but only attempted 4 exits. Still though, Bernier continues to play well. Ryan Carter had 2 successful zone exits, maintaining possession on 1 of them. Stephen Gionta and Cam Janssen had 0% possession exit rates. Jaromir Jagr and Michael Ryder each attempted 5 exits, maintaining possession on 2 of them. Andrei Loktionov did not attempt a zone exit.
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 Exits:
(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 the cumulative data.
Have any questions? Comments? Suggestions? Hit me up on Twitter at @RK_Stimp.