Forwards: Welcome to the team Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby. Both looked as good both on and off the puck as I’ve seen this season (or from what I remember from last season as well). I’m not tracking pass breakups or interceptions (maybe I should?), but I noticed that both of them had a few of each. Josefson was 9 of 10 in the offensive zone and Tedenby was 7 of 9. They attempted fewer passes in the other zones, but completed each one. Josefson tied with Dainius Zubrus with 4 SAG, which led the team. Once the team is healthy, I don’t see why these two shouldn’t replace Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta on the 4th line with Steve Bernier. And I’ll keep saying that each time the zone exit and passing data supports it.
Damien Brunner actually resembled someone who will pass and not just try to shoot through defenders. He was 3 of 4 in the offensive zone and generated 3 shot attempts. Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr also created 3 shot attempts each. Jagr was effective as usual, and Brunner was present in all three zones, so that was a nice change to see. Henrique, Jagr, and, surprisingly, Carter were the most efficient in the defensive zone for the forwards.
Michael Ryder also had a strong game in the offensive zone, completing 9 of 12 passes and creating two shot attempts. I believe those are his high marks on the season thus far. Andrei Loktionov didn’t generate any shot attempts, and wasn’t as notable as other games. He should be creating chances each game.
Bernier created two shot attempts on 4 of 7 passing in the offensive zone. Carter was busy in his own zone going 6 for 6 and was only 2 of 3 in the other two zones combined. His numbers were similar to Gionta’s: lots of passes in the defensive zone and very little offered elsewhere on the ice. That’s a sign forwards are getting pinned back. Rostislav Olesz’s stats were about the same. The trio generated only 1 shot attempt. I’m not surprised Olesz was sent down. The would hope Deboer scratches Carter and Gionta once Zajac, Elias, Clowe, etc. return.
8 of the forwards 22 SAG were created in the game’s opening 5 minutes, so there was a significant drop off after that. One of the other data points that I’m going to look at once we reach the 20 game mark will be SAG per game to determine what constitutes a strong vs weak performance in terms of passing efficiency. Also, I’ll see who’s had their best games vs their worst and see what data supports that.
Defense: Jon Merrill failed to register any pass attempts in his brief debut, resulting in a heavier workload for every defenseman not named Mark Fayne. Fayne (89%), Eric Gelinas (90%), and Marek Zidlicky (92%) all had strong nights passing in their own zone. Adam Larsson (81%) had a good night as well. Andy Greene was the least accurate of the group (71%). Greene, Larsson, and Gelinas all attempted 21 passes in the defensive zone, which is a busy night. One of the things I’m going to look at once we reach the 20 game mark is average passes in each zone on a per-game basis. I feel 20 games is a good enough sample to get an idea of what’s a fluid game versus one that’s ugly.
Offensively, all defenseman except for Fayne generate a shot attempt, with Gelinas leading the group with 2. It wasn’t a poorly played game from the back end.
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.
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.