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

This is a look at the zone exit and passing statistics for the New Jersey Devils' 59th game of the season against the Washington Capitals. Read on for the details.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
More of the same. Posts and missed shots cost the Devils against Washington as the 3-0 score line was flattered by two late empty-net goals. Production was varied amongst the skaters, though the team did get plenty of support from the blue line and once again had more attempts at the offensive end of the ice than their own. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Dainius Zubrus was quiet until later on, finishing 7/10 with 4 SAG. Stephen Gionta went 4/4 in the offensive zone (no passes elsewhere) and 1 SAAG and 1 SG. Surprisingly, only Andrei Loktionov (8/10) failed to generate a shot attempt. If he wants to stay in the lineup, I’m sure he has to more next game—if there is a next game for him.

Jaromir Jagr (24/34, 6 SAG, 1 SG) and Patrik Elias (25/29, 3 SAG, 2 SG) owned the 2nd period as they did most of their damage then: Elias went 12/13 with nearly all of his production coming in the middle period; Jagr went 11/14 and had all but 1 SAG in the 2nd period. 64% of the forward’s passes were attempted at the Washington end of the ice in the 2nd period.

Apart from Elias, only Ryan Carter (7/7) generated multiple shots (2) and had an efficient game. Overall, the team generated shots on only 40% of their SAG totals. Poor, but consistent with John’s narrative in his recap.

Defensemen: With 10 SAG and 2 SG, the defensemen certainly were no slouches in the offensive zone last night. They completed 21/25 passes, with only—you guess it—Bryce Salvador failing to attempt a pass at the Washington end of the ice. Andy Greene was very busy, going 22/24 with 4 SAG, but no SG. Peter Harrold was effective at both ends of the ice, completing all 9 of his passes in his own end and in the offensive zone—where he generated 2 attempts and 1 shot—but he was 1/4 in the neutral zone. Overall, a decent performance, but could have been sharper at center ice.

Salvador went 9/12 in another ineffective performance. When was the last time the Captain actually made an impact?


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:Ryane Clowe once again led the group with 8 attempts, but only 3 were with possession. Adam Henrique and Carter were the only other forwards under 50% as most were solid. Henrique had the group’s sole turnover.

Defensemen: Another poor night exiting the zone resulted in a 34.2 PE% for the defensemen. Salvador had 3 more turnovers and needs to hang up the skates for a “Special Assignment” job with the Devils. Marek Zidlicky had 2 turnovers as well, finishing with 2 possession exits of his 6 attempts. Greene led the group with 11 attempts, with 5 maintaining possession. Jon Merrill did not have a good night as only 2 of his 7 attempts were with possession.


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?