New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators: Zone Exit and Passing Stats

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

This is a look at the zone exit and passing stats for the New Jersey Devils 56th game of the season against the Nashville Predators. Read on for the details.

The Predators certainly came to play in this one, repeatedly pinning the Devils back early on and controlling much of the play. A poor handle of the puck from Cory Schneider led to a Shea Weber blast. Some poor goaltending from Carter Hutton led to Patrik Elias’ equalizer. More bounces and luck resulted in a 3-2 OT loss for the Devils. But, 3 points from 4 games and they’re still right there in the Wild Card mix. Now, let’s hope they just find some consistency. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Travis Zajac, Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe, and Andrei Loktionov were the only forwards to generate multiple shots for teammates, all finishing with 2. Adam Henrique (4) and Zajac (5) generated the most shot attempts.

Zajac went 10/10 in the offensive zone, while Jagr went 9/12. Those two were definitely feeling it. Patrik Elias was a bit better than against Dallas, going 11/14 with 2 SAG and 1 SG. Steve Bernier was a mess in the offensive zone, going a paltry 3/8 with nothing generated.

Defensemen: 6 defensemen to start, which became 5 once Anton Volchenkov (4/8 passing) went out with a lower-body injury. As a result, the other 5 blue liners attempt 78 passes in the defense zone alone, indicative of Nashville’s early, strong possession. Mark Fayne was busiest, as he went 19/23 with 2 SAG and 1 SG. Jon Merrill finished 15/19, generated 2 attempts and shots from beyond the offensive zone.

Andy Greene went 16/21, but generated no shot attempts for others. Marek Zidlicky went 19/21 with 1 SAG and 1 SG. Bryce Salvador stabilized his passing from the previous game and finished 13/15 with 1 SAG and 1 SG.

Game_56_devils_predators_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:Ryan Carter went 5/5, Jagr went 5/6, Damien Brunner 3/5. Those were the only players above 50% in the possession exit department.

Michael Ryder finished at 0% on his 3 exit attempts. But, Henrique really brought the group down as only 2 of his 10 exit attempts maintained possession. Loktionov, Elias, Bernier, Zajac, and Gionta all were at the 50% mark, so there weren’t too many poor performances apart from Henrique and Ryder.

Zone_exits_game_56_devils_predators

Defensemen: Another game, another 3 turnovers for the Captain. I think that’s 10 defensive zone turnovers in the last 3 games for Salvador. Someone, please, steal his equipment or something.

Greene had another multiple-turnover game with 2, while Merrill had 2 as well. Zidlicky finished with 1 and was the blue line’s best with a 45.5 PE%. Fayne didn’t have a turnover, but all 6 of his exit attempts were without possession. Only a 31.4 PE% overall night from the defense. This is one area of the team they are simply consistently bad at.

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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