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New Jersey Devils at Phoenix Coyotes: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

This is a look at the zone exit and passing stats for the New Jersey Devils' 50th game of the season against the Phoenix Coyotes. Read on for the details.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The New Jersey Devils attempt 244.1 passes each game. Against the Coyotes, they attempted 334. So, why was the total so high? Limited special teams play and the fact that the Devils chased for most of the game probably contributed to that. A late1st period power play goal from Ryane Clowe gave Devils fans hope going into the second, but the Devils weren’t able to tie it. Phoenix scored a power play goal of their own to extend the lead. The Devils set up shop in the Coyotes’ zone, but didn’t make it a 1-goal game until late. Despite how the game unfolded, the Devils still had a great chance to tie with a minute left when Patrik Elias fed Jaromir Jagr. It wasn’t to be.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Dainius Zubrus had a decent, but disappointing game. He finished 14/16 passing, but only generated a single shot. Ryan Carter also generated a single shot and Reid Boucher failed to generate anything offensively for his line mates. It’s no surprise that Boucher was moved off the top line.

Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr combined to generate 10 of the forward group’s 27 shot attempts. They also were responsible for generating 4 of the group’s 13 shots. Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac made the most of what they created, as each of their shot attempts resulted in a shot on goal for a teammate. Stephen Gionta only missed 1 of his 8 pass attempts, generated 3 shot attempts. Adam Henrique also added 3 SAG.

Defensemen: The defensemen certainly did their best to generate offense (17 SAG), but the quality of those chances was poor as only 3 shots were generated from those 17 attempts. Mark Fayne (18/20) generated 5 shot attempts, but each failed to find the target. Marek Zidlicky attempted a whopping 38 passes—completing 29—and generated 4 shot attempts and 2 shots. Jon Merrill also had a busy game, going 25/30 with 2 shot attempts. Andy Greene was the busiest in the offensive zone and finished 27/30 with 3 SAG and 1 SG.


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: 6 turnovers for the forwards, but no one had more than 1. The forwards finished with another strong performance with 59.3% of their zone exits keeping possession. Gionta was the only forward under 50%. It was a good performance from each of the other 10 forwards.

Defensemen: 7 turnovers for the group, 1 apiece for each defenseman. Collectively, the defensemen finished at a 44.4 PE%. Zidlicky and Greene were the busiest with 10 and 9 exit attempts respectively. Eric Gelinas, Anton Volchenkov, and Jon Merrill were the worst of the bunch.


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?