Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

Elsa

This is a look at the zone exit and passing stats for the Devils 44th game of the season. Read on for a dominant display put on the forwards and yet another "oh what could have been" type of game.

Similar to the Pittsburgh game on New Year’s Eve, this was a game dominated by the Devils forwards. As Deboer stated after the game, it really should have been a 2 or 3 goal lead heading into the middle frame. The Flyers eventually got back into the game and took a 2-1 lead in the 3rd. A late SHG from Michael Ryder allowed the Devils to skate off with a single point when they should have secured both early on. Let’s get to it.

Oh, and sorry for the delay. I’m been reaching out to the other NHL sites on SB Nation and have slowly started the process of obtaining volunteers to track passing stats for other teams. Hopefully, we’ll have some data to compare to by the end of the season and leading into next season as well.

Passing Stats

Forwards:

What a night for the forwards. 35 total SAG, 23 total SG, a shot to shot attempt percentage of 65.7%. Very efficient night for the forwards. Only Reid Boucher and Ryan Carter failed to get in on the shot generation going on. Both contribute more via their own shooting anyways, so it was a night everyone was involved.

Leading the way, again, was Jaromir Jagr. He had a high percentage night (for him) as he went 18/22 and finished with 7 SAG and 5 SG. Line mates, Dainius Zubrus (16/21, 3 SAG, 3 SG) and Travis Zajac (17/17, 6 SAG, 3 SG) were equally dominant at times. Zajac especially as he completed every pass he attempted.

Adam Henrique (9/12, 3 SAG, 3 SG) continues to put up solid numbers over the last several games. Michael Ryder seems a more active skater since playing alongside Henrique more often as his totals reflect that (11/12, 4 SAG, 3 SG). Ryane Clowe took more shots than he generated, but still had an okay game (8/10, 3 SAG, 2 SG). The top two lines combined to generate 19 shots just off of their passes!

No one in the bottom 6 forwards generated more than 1 shot, but Mike Sislo (2), Stephen Gionta (2), and Steve Bernier (4) each generated multiple shot attempts. This was one of highest OZ% nights for the forwards.

Defensemen:

In a very limited game for the defensemen offensively, only Andy Greene generated shot attempts (3) and none ended with actual shots on next. With 15 pass attempts in the offensive zone, it was disappointing to see how little SAG the position contributed. Greene (3/4), Marek Zidlicky (3/5), and Jon Merrill (4/4) were the busiest in the offensive zone. Greene had the puck on his stick more often than the other defensemen, going 20/24 in the game.

Mark Fayne was 13/14 and had a ho-hum night. Bryce Salvador went 9/12, and Anton Volchenkov had a grand total of 6 pass attempts in his own end. He did complete them all, so at least he’s consistent in his limited play.

Devils_flyers_game_44_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:

63.5 PE% is a solid number. Back when I had current data for other teams, that was LA Kings/STL Blues –esque numbers. Only 2 turnovers for the forwards. Surprisingly, Carter attempted the most zone exits with 7, 3 of which maintained possession. Sislo had a 100 PE% on his 5 attempts. Jagr, Zubrus, and Zajac each attempted at least 5 and finished at 80% or higher. Only Boucher and Gionta finished below 50% (after Carter, of course).

Defensemen:

Devils_flyers_game_44_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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