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Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

This is a look at the zone exits and passing stats for the Devils 39th game of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was a mixed bag of results as the special teams play limited the 5-on-5 stats for the Devils.

Bruce Bennett
The Blue Jackets are quickly becoming a team that I do not enjoy watching them play the Devils. Be interesting how the rivalry develops over the years. Anyways, this game saw the teams trade chances of the power play variety as the teams regularly visited the box in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Columbus owned the first period for the most part and the Devils found a way to score against World-Beater Curtis McElhinney, thanks to Brodeur keeping them close. Alas, the shootout was the Devils undoing again.

A significant amount of special teams minutes limited the 5 on 5 passing and zone exit stats, but in those limited minutes, they still managed to meet their season average in SAG. The zone exits were a mixed bad as the Devils still haven’t gotten rid of the turnover bug, committing another 9 as a team, but both position groups exceeded the 50 PE% mark.

Passing Stats


Dainius Zubrus went 14/16 on the night, generating 4 shot attempts and 1 shot. Mattias Tedenby had a quiet game, completing 3/4 passes with 0 SAG. If Tedenby had a quiet night though, then Stephen Gionta was a ghost: missing on his only 2 pass attempts. Adam Henrique had a strong night, completing 12/13 passes, generating 4 shot attempts and 2 shots.

Reid Boucher had a poor outing, finishing 4/7 with no SAG. Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr each generated 3 shot attempts and combined for 3 shots. Jagr missed all 4 of his passes in the neutral zone, but was solid in the other two zones. Patrik Elias had a poor night in the offensive end (5/9), but managed to generate 2 shot attempts and 1 shot. Collectively, the forwards were below their season average in every category last night.


The defensemen were a bit better than against Chicago in terms of generating chances, but not by much. Marek Zidlicky accounted for half the defensemen’s pass attempts in the offensive zone (5), as well as 75% of the blue line’s SAG (4). Eric Gelinas attempted the most passes (21), completing 16 and generating 1 shot attempt. Anton Volchenkov completed all 9 of his passes in the defensive zone, but failed to register a pass elsewhere on the ice.


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


Gionta, Boucher, Michael Ryder, and Zubrus were the only forwards under 50 PE%. Andrei Loktionov did not attempt a zone exit on the night. All other forwards brought the position’s PE% to 55.6. Jagr and Zajac led the team with 7 and 6 attempts respectively, with most forwards attempting 3 – 5. Elias, Boucher, Jagr, and Zajac were responsible for the turnovers in the DZ.


Collectively, the defensemen finished at 54.5 PE%, a significant improvement of their season average. They’ve had a few strong games since the 30 game mark, so I’m expecting their season average to rise in my next summary after the Islanders game (number 40 on the season).


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?