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

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

This is a look at the New Jersey Devils' passing and zone exit stats for their 48th game of the season against the Montreal Canadiens. Read on for the details.

The Devils fought back after a rather soft goal allowed by Martin Brodeur put them in an early 1-0 hole. Three straight goals (and one on the power play!) put them in a comfortable position. However, Montreal did not go quietly and attacked for lengthy periods of time, drawing penalties and forcing 13 turnovers in the Devils defensive zone. It was a win, but not the prettiest at times. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards:

A very good passing night in terms of completion percentage as the forwards were lowest in the offensive zone with an 85% completion rate. That is significantly higher than their season average. Let’s hope that continues to trend up.

Dainius Zubrus, Steve Bernier, and Ryan Carter completed every pass they attempted. They combined to generated 7 shot attempts and 2 shots. Zubrus, obviously, had the higher volume, but Bernier continues to put up decent SAG figures on significantly fewer pass attempts.

Mike Sislo, Adam Henrique, and Stephen Gionta completed all but 1 of their pass attempts. Henrique finished 11/12 in the offensive zone with 5 SAG and 1 SG. Sislo generated 1 shot attempt and Gionta put up a goose egg, but at least he displayed some accuracy.

Travis Zajac (19/22, 6 SAG, 4 SG) had the best night of the forwards. Jaromir Jagr continues to be more accurate with his passing, resulting in a sterling 90.9% completion in the offensive zone. He finished 14/16 overall with 5 SAG and 1 SG. Ryane Clowe continues to round into form (and check out Mike's post here for a lengthy look at Clowe) with 12/14 passing, 2 SAG, and 1 SG. Michael Ryder even decided to pass the puck a bit, finishing 8/11 with 3 SAG and 1 SG.

Defensemen:

In terms of offensive production, there were shot attempts generated, but only a single shot generated. Marek Zidlicky (11/13) led the team once again with 3 SAG and 1 SG. Andy Greene (20/24) and Mark Fayne (19/22) each generated 2 shot attempts and were the busiest defensemen on the night for the Devils. Bryce Salvador had a decent passing game, going 12/13 across all zones and generating 1 shot attempt. Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill failed to attempt a pass in the offensive zone, but were otherwise steady in their passing.

Devils_habs_game_48_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:

4 turnovers on the night, and all 4 from the CBGB line. Not a great stat and it hampered their zone exits. Gionta still finished with a 60 PE%, but Bernier and Carter were terrible.

Collectively, the forwards, as most nights, carried the team’s PE% to the tune of 63.5%. Zubrus (57.1%) and Clowe (85.7%) led the group with 7 attempts each. Besides the CBGB line, Henrique, Ryder, Zajac, and Jagr were the other forwards to attempt at least 4 attempts and they all finished at 50% or above.

Defensemen:

Devils_habs_game_48_zone_exits

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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