New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

Alex Trautwig

This is a look at the zone exits and passing stats for the New Jersey Devils' 40th game of the season. Or, more accurately, the "Patrik Elias can play with anyone" recap.

The Devils got back to their pass-happy selves against the Islanders, for the most part that is. The forwards exceeded 100 pass attempts in the offensive zone, but the defensemen were once again limited in their contributions to generate offense. For all of their possession and a good amount of SAG (31 by the forwards), the Devils finishing left you wanting more than a winning goal courtesy of Travis Zajac’s shoulder. A win’s a win in the end. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards:

Adam Henrique nearly had a dominant game. He completed 15/16 passes, generated 5 shot attempts, but none of them ended up being shots on goal. A fine performance by Henrique though. Dainius Zubrus continued his decent play, 12/13 overall and 2 SAG/1SG. Stephen Gionta only completed 2/6 in the offensive end (4/5 elsewhere) and failed to generate a shot attempt.

Reid Boucher continues to have an up-and-down rookie season (to be expected, no?). He generated 1 shot (Henrique’s goal) and finished 3/7 passing overall. Michael Ryder and Steve Bernier made some quality passes as each generated 2 SAG/2SG. Travis Zajac completed all but 2 of his 16 pass attempts and generated 2 shot attempts.

Patrik Elias and Jaromir Jagr put up big numbers. Both went 12/17 in the offensive zone and Elias continues to perform as if to say “it doesn’t matter who you put me with, I’ll produce.” He generated 8 shot attempts, with 4 resulting in shots. Jagr generated 6 shot attempts, with 2 resulting in shots. Together they accounted for nearly half the forward SAG and SG output.

Defensemen:

As I mentioned above, the defensemen only attempted 15 passes in the offensive zone, generating 4 shot attempts and 3 shots. Surprisingly, Jon Merrill was the most effective in the Isles end, going 5/6. He finished 18/20 overall. The passing in the defensive zone wasn’t bad as no one missed more than 2 passes and everyone attempted between 8 – 13 passes. Completing 85% of their passes in the DZ and NZ, the blue line completed only 10/15 passes in the OZ. Overall, it was an efficient, yet underwhelming display.

Game_40_devils_isles_passing

Passing Data Explained:

Pass: A reasonable and deliberate attempt to get the puck to a teammate which results in 1 of 3 outcomes: 1) Maintaining possession; 2) Allows for the recipient of the pass to make a “hockey move” (dump in, deflection, another pass etc.); 3) A shot attempt. When in doubt, common sense will prevail.

What you see above 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. You’ll also see a “shot generated” or “SG” column to track the highest quality of shot attempts. The last column totals the percentage of shot attempts that result in shots on net.

Zone Exit Stats

Forwards:

A 54.1 PE% night for the forwards. Boucher, Gionta, and Bernier were the only forwards under 50% (Gionta finished at 0%, clearly 2nd line material), so overall it was an effective night. Jagr bossed it, successful on all 11 of his exit attempts and 8 keeping possession. Henrique and Zubrus were successful on each of the 6 they attempted, keeping possession on 5 and 4 respectively. Ryane Clowe completed 8/9 exits, keeping possession with 55.6 PE%.

Defensemen:

Zone_exits_game_40_devils_isles

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).

Possession Exits:

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.

What reaction do you have to these stats? How do they compare with your viewing of the game?

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