Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

Paul Bereswill

This is a review of the New Jersey Devils' zone exit and passing stats for their 46th game of the season against the Florida Panthers. In an entertaining game, read on to find out how the Devils excelled and where their could have been better.

In a game that felt similar to the Dallas game, the Devils traded opportunities with Florida all night long. The goalies were up to the task and it took a sublime effort to win it in overtime. The Devils finished strong on their zone exits and shot generation, but were a bit wasteful with their passing that makes you wonder if they could have put the game away earlier with more precise passing. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards:

The team’s passing accuracy was not up to par compared to its season averages. Dainius Zubrus was under 66.7% completion in all 3 zones, but still found a way to finish with 4 SAG and 3 SG. Travis Zajac was a bit off as well, completing 11/17 with 3 SAG and 1 SG. Jaromir Jagr, on the hand, was more accurate than usual as he went 16/20 with 5 SAG and 1 SG.

The second line of Adam Henrique (10/14, 4 SAG, 1 SG), Michael Ryder (9/12, 4 SAG, 1 SG), and Ryane Clowe (12/14, 3 SAG, 3 SG) equaled the top line’s SG production and was only 1 SAG behind.

The CBGB line of Stephen Gionta (7/9, 1 SAG, 1 SG), Ryan Carter (9/10, 2 SAG), and Steve Bernier (6/8, 3 SAG, 1 SG) were efficient at times, creating 4 shots off of their passing.

Mike Sislo completed 3/4 passes on the night, but with limited minutes wasn’t able to generate much offense. Reid Boucher went 6/9 with 2 SAG and 1 SG. You have to think they’d be able to consistently produce more if the team rolled 4 more lines.

Collectively, the forwards generated 31 shot attempts and 13 shots, a 41.9% success rate.

Defensemen:

Another game with average SAG production from the blue line. Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene, and Mark Fayne each generated 2 shot attempts, with Zid and Greene each generating 1 shot. Collectively, the defensemen attempted fewer passes in each zone than they’ve averaged on the season. Zidlicky was the busiest on the night: 22/27 across all three zones.

Bryce Salvador (15/16), Jon Merrill (15/16), and Fayne (13/14) each only had 1 incomplete pass. Eric Gelinas completed and attempted a single pass. I don’t think it’s best for his development to do this. Put him back in Albany and let him play 15 – 20 minutes a night.

Game_46_devils_panthers_passingPassing 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:

Zubrus (46.2 PE%) led the team in exit attempts with 13 and overall the forwards exceeded their season average by 2 exit attempts. Gionta had a decent night, ending up successful on each zone exit and 4 of the 5 keeping possession. Ryder (50%), Bernier (66.7%), Zajac 16.7%), Carter 66.7%), and Clowe (83.3%) each attempted 6 zone exits, with varying amounts of possession exit success rates. 8 of Jagr’s 9 zone exits were with possession as he continues to perform very well by this metric.

Defensemen:

Zone_exits_game_46_devils_panthers

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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