For a first attempt this wasn't too bad at all. Since I was home watching this one instead of attending in person I decided to take the opportunity to give this zone entry thing a try. I didn't follow any specific method based on Ryan's zone exits or the formal papers on zone entries that John shared the other day. I just watched the game and recorded things I thought were important. Below is the complete recording of zone entries and also the results of offensive zone face-offs. After that are a few concluding thoughts.
I highly doubt I'll be able to do this on a regular basis. I may do it again but only if I end up in the rare situation of watching a game at home alone with nothing else to do with the spare time (tonight was a very rare exception). However, I'm happy to discuss this and work with anyone else who's interested in continuing this work.
|2||5:49||n/a||Faceoff||Won||SH - Icing|
|3||15:55||Jagr||Deflected in||Line Change|
In total the Devils had 82 zone entries in their 7-1 romp of the St. Louis Blues. I suspect the more I do this the sooner we'll find out if that's a high number or not. Broken down by period the Devils had 35 in the first, 24 in the second, and 23 in the third. Despite the small sample size I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that, similar to shot totals, score effects has some impact on frequency of zone entry. Here's a more detailed breakdown.
You can see that the number of dump-ins/deflections vs the number of carries and passes to enter the zone shifts as the game goes on. However, for the most part the numbers are even throughout the game. In the end, the Devils carried or passed into the zone 38 times while they dumped or deflected the puck into the zone 44 times. That's close enough that we can't really glean too much from it at this point.
The seven goals scored also came from a mix of entries. Three goals came from a player carrying the puck across the line. One goal came from a player passing the puck in across the line. Two goals came from dump-ins that were deflected into the zone. The seventh goal was a fluke where Gelinas dumped the puck in but it deflected off of a St. Louis player and went in the net. I did not count it because it is an extreme example of an outlier.
Interestingly, only 17 zone entries led to shots being generated. That's roughly 21% which may or may not be abysmal, I'm really not sure. The Devils only had 23 shots on net, which is well below average. So we can conjecture that either the Devils are generating a below-average number of shots per zone entry, or a below-average number of zone entries, or both. That is assuming that there is in fact a direct correlation between zone entries and generating shots.
In the future I will take a look at some more detailed player stats. For now, here are the raw numbers of zone entries:
|Forwards||# of Entries|
|Defensemen||# of Entries|
The biggest surprises to me here were that Henrique didn't have a single zone entry and that Brunner only had two despite having such a big night offensively. The Zajac-Jagr-Boucher line combined for 23 entries which is a pretty ludicrous number of attempted zone entries. 15 of them resulted in some form of possession and 7 of the Devils shots on goal came off of those entries. Pretty good night for them.
Last but not least I looked at offensive-zone face-offs. There were 17 of these for the Devils and they gained some kind of possession on nine of them. Unfortunately they could not generate any shots on net off of those wins. At least they were winning close to 50% of them.
Thanks for reading, I look forward to all your feedback!