Montreal Canadiens at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

Al Bello

This is a look at the Devils zone exit and passing attempts against the Montreal Canadiens. In a largely back and forth game, the Devils exceeded their season average in shot attempts generated again, continuing a string of decent passing games. Overall, their zone exits were impressive as well, apart from a monumental gaffe by Adam Henrique.

The Devils hosted the Canadiens in a rematch from Monday night. It was a back and forth game that was very entertaining. Reid Boucher made his debut quite memorable in both regulation and in the shootout. Unfortunately, the Canadiens tied it late to spoil the party and the Devils would lose in a shootout. Let’s take a look at the stats for the night, including Adam Henrique’s turnover that led to the tying goal in the final minute.

Passing Stats

Forwards:

Boucher performed admirably in his debut, completing 10/12 passes overall, including 8/9 in the OZ, and generated 4 shot attempts overall, including 1 from the neutral zone. Boucher set up the shot that Michael Ryder scored on, but we shouldn’t forget the play Andrei Loktionov made in getting the puck back to Boucher in the first place. Sometimes those things get lost in these stat recaps, and I wanted to point it out. Damien Brunner finished 10/11, pretty even across all 3 zones, but failed to generate a shot attempt. Dainius Zubrus was nearly perfect: 17/18 and 8/9 in the OZ. He generated 3 shot attempts. Adam Henrique was a busy man tonight, leading the team in SAG with 5 and tied with Jaromir Jagr for OZ pass attempts with 15. He converted at a better rate, however, finishing 12/15.

Travis Zajac, Andrei Loktionov, and Patrik Elias all attempted 10 passes in the OZ, generating 10 shot attempts between them. Michael Ryder was similar to Brunner in his passing (accurate, but few attempts) though he did generate 1 shot attempt (and score of course). Steve Bernier hasn’t slowed down since jumping up to a 2nd line: 16/17 passing with 3 SAG.

Tim Sestito and Cam Janssen passed the puck a few times. So, yay for pointless lineup decisions.

Defensemen:

In a fairly active game for the defensemen, they exceeded their average OZ pass attempts by 8 and were about average in the other 2 zones. Jon Merrill continues to pile up the pass attempts as he led the blue line in the DZ. Overall, Marek Zidlicky led all defensemen with 28 passes, including 11 in the OZ! He didn’t waste many either as all 5 of Zid’s SAG came from the OZ. Andy Greene created 2 shot attempts, but was a bit off in his own end tonight, going 12/16. Mark Fayne continued his stellar passing of late, missing only 1 of his 14 attempts. Anton Volchenkov was low-event as usual, and Eric Gelinas put up a decent passing game, although he still makes his fair share of turnovers.

Game_29_devils_canadiens_passing

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 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.

Zone Exit Stats

Forwards:

Adam Henrique’s night had 2 turnovers on his 3 attempts, the most notable being the soft clearing attempt right onto Brian Gionta’s stick. Give Henrique the secondary assist.

Collectively, the forwards finished at 60.7 PE%, which is very good, as everyone besides Henrique finished over 50%. Not much to complain about here. Jagr was a beast, successful on all 10 attempts, 8 of them with possession. Apart from Henrique, the forwards did quite well.

Defensemen:

A total of 8 turnovers for the defensemen tonight, with Gelinas accounting for 3 of them. The group finished at 50 PE% again, an improvement on the season average again. Merrill led the way at 80 PE%, but had the fewest attempts. The rest of the defensemen averaged between 40 – 50 PE%.

Zone_exits_game_29_devils_canadiens

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.

Thoughts on tonight’s stats? What are some things you might like to see these stats compared to in my 10-game reviews?

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