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Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

This is a look at the zone exits and passing stats for the New Jersey Devils' 52nd game of the season against the Washington Capitals. Read on the for the details.

The Devils came out shooting against the Capitals and could have won by a more comfortable margin than the 2-1 score line, but play evened out over the course of the game. There were some solid passing games from certain players, but less impactful play from others. Looking at these stats game after game, the defense continues to be sub par in terms of zone exits and generating offense. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Joe Whitney went 7/10 in his debut, but failed to generate any offense for his line mates. He wasn’t the only though, as Stephen Gionta (6/7), Damien, Brunner (3/5), and, surprisingly, Patrik Elias (6/9) all failed to generate a shot attempt for their teammates.

The most active passer in the offensive zone was Ryane Clowe as he went 8/10 there and 14/18 overall. He generated 2 shot attempts but no shots. Jaromir Jagr also attempted 10 passes in the offensive zone, but only completed 5 of them, generating a total of 2 shot attempts and 1 shot.

Travis Zajac (3), Dainius Zubrus (2), and Michael Ryder (2) were the only forwards to generated more than 1 shot for teammates. Overall, the forwards were below their season average in terms of both SAG and SG.

Defensemen: A low-event game for the defensemen as the pass totals were spread out among all 6 for the most part. They were below their season average in terms of total pass attempts. Andy Greene stood out as the most active in the offensive zone completing 5 of6 passes and generating 3 shot attempts with 1 shot as a result. Marek Zidlicky and Mark Fayne also generated 1 shot each.


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: The forwards finished at 53.1 PE% for the game, but there were peaks and valleys throughout the group. Ryder and Elias finished at 80 PE%, leading the way. Zubrus (66.7%), Gionta (66.7%), and Jagr (50%) were the only other forwards above 50%. All other forwards finished at either 33.3% or 40%.

Defensemen: A terrible zone exit display from the blue line. The main culprit was Mark Fayne as he committed a Harrold-esque 4 turnovers. Greene was the best on the night with a 50 PE% rate. Bryce Salvador and Anton Volchenkov combined to attempt only 5 exits, finishing without a single possession exit.


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?