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New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

This is a look at the Devils zone exit and passing stats when they took on the Rangers Saturday Night. The forwards were good; the defensemen could have been better. Read on for the evidence.

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The Devils and Rangers played a back and forth game that finished the way all Devils always want it to against the Rangers. Despite going down 0-2 early in the 2nd period, the Devils took over most of the game going forward and outscored the Rangers 3-0 5-on-5 the rest of the way. A PPG apiece at the end of regulation and early in OT secured the 2 points for the Devils. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats


Reid Boucher followed up a dud with a very good passing game. He went 7/8 in the offensive zone and generated 6 shot attempts. The 6 SAG tied him with Jaromir Jagr for the team lead on the night. Dainius Zubrus generated 4 shot attempts on 10/12 passing. The next highest were Adam Henrique, Patrik Elias, and Tim Sestito with 3 SAG each. The only forwards not to generate anything? Cam Janssen and Damien Brunner.

Travis Zajac was quite busy in the defensive zone, going 8/8 and 6/8 on the other 2 zones. Michael Ryder, Andrei Loktionov, and Brunner had “meh” games with not too much production to speak of, other than Ryder’s goal of course, which was a great individual effort. Overall, the forwards generated 31 shot attempts, which is well above their season average.


Not as active in the offensive zone as they’ve been recently, no doubt some of which is a direct result of Marek Zidlicky’s absence. The group averaged over 81% in each zone, which is a few points better than the season average. Andy Greene had a rare off-night, completing 8/13 in his own end. He was the group’s highest generator of shot attempts with 3. Peter Harrold was good considering this was first game in the last 5 or so. Mark Fayne and Anton Volchenkov were decent, nothing great or terrible to point out.

Eric Gelinas attempted 29 passes tonight, 21 of which were in the defensive zone. He only generated 1 shot attempt, but his totals are steadily rising. Of those 29 passes, he completed 25, a solid percentage for the game. Jon Merrill attempted 21 overall, 14/17 in the offensive zone. He also generated 1 shot attempt.


Passing Data Explained

Pass: A reasonable and deliberate attempt to get the puck to a teammate which maintains possession or results in a shot attempt. This excludes zone clears, dump-ins, and anything that is akin to a desperate swipe at a loose puck. If a player passes a puck into space or off the boards, it finds a teammate, and it appears it was done deliberately, that shall be a pass. 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.

Zone Exit Stats


The forwards only had 1 turnover and had a 52.1 PE% for the game. Notable performers were Jagr (of course) at 57.1 PE% on his 7 attempts. Zajac was 9/9, but only 3 maintained possession. Sestito went 4/5, but only 1 maintained possesion. Ryder and Brunner had decent exits. Boucher and Zubrus were the other forwards who finished below 50 PE%.


Greene’s below-average passing for the game resulted in a few pass turnovers in his end. Harrold’s turnover was early on, but he was steady the rest of the way. Fayne and Volchenkov combined to attempt 19 zone exits, successful on every one of them. Their PE%s were 42.9 and 33.3 respectively. Volchenkov continues to be exactly what a 3rd pairing defenseman should be: effective at clearing the puck out of the zone and not taking many risks.

Collectively, the defensemen finished at 40.6 PE%, another game below their season average. Harrold was the only blue liner at the 50 PE% mark.


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?