Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exit and Passing Stats

Bruce Bennett

This is a look at the zone exit and passing statistics for the New Jersey Devils' 82nd game of the season against the Boston Bruins on April 13th. Read on for the details.

In a game that meant nothing to the Boston Bruins, they iced a less-than-formidable lineup and the New Jersey Devils pretty much had their way with them. The game had plenty of meaning to the Devils and their fans, especially one Martin Brodeur, who may have (should have?) played his last game for the Devils. It was a game full of emotion, but you don’t read these for emotions. You read these for the dry, truthful stats and cold images of Excel spreadsheets. On this last edition of the Zone Exit and Passing Stats for the 2013-2014 season, it was one for Jaromir Jagr to show just how great he is. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Jagr completed 18/20 passes in the offensive zone alone (5/6 elsewhere), generated five shots (SG) on seven attempts (SAG) and basically did what he wanted when he wanted to do it. Tuomo Ruutu (10/14) was the next highest with three shots generated on three attempts. Ruutu has been a very efficient player at times and I’ll speak more on that when I write up my season recap, but he’ll be a plus for sure.

Travis Zajac (18/26, 6 SAG, 2 SG), Patrik Elias (17/24, 2 SAG, 2 SG), and Dainius Zubrus (17/23, 4 SAG, 2 SG) each generated two shots. There wasn’t much else from the rest of the forwards as the Devils’ best players were their best players on Sunday.

Defensemen: Hey, look! Offense from the blue line! In a rare display of shot-generation from the back end, the blue line generated six shots on fourteen attempts. Peter Harrold (19/22, 2 SAG, 2 SG) and Adam Larsson (26/31, 3 SAG, 2 SG) were the more efficient defensemen, as Marek Zidlicky (31/38, 3 SAG) and Jon Merrill (26/34, 4 SAG, 1 SG) had more volume. Andy Greene had poor game overall, one of his worst, as he generated nothing and was a disaster in the zone exit phase of the game.

Devils_bruins_game_82_passing_1

Devils_bruins_game_82_passing_2

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: Only two turnovers from the forwards and they still only finished with a 51.8 PE%. Five failed passes and four failed carries will bring down a percentage like that. Steve Bernier led the group with eight attempts, but only two were with possession. Tim Sestito had three exits, but none with possession. Those two brought down the group more than others. Elias and Jagr finished at 40 PE%.

Defensemen: Woe unto Andy Greene. Six turnovers and a 15.4 PE% on thirteen attempts. He saved his worst for last. Had his passing been better (like it normally is) he likely could have had five more possession exits, but it wasn’t his day apparently. Fayne, Harrold, and Merrill were all at 50% or higher, but it wasn’t enough to save the group from another subpar zone exit rate of 40.7%.

Devils_bruins_game_82_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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