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Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exits and Passing Stats

This is a look at the zone exit and passing statistics for the New Jersey Devils' 69th game of the season against the Boston Bruins on March 18th. Read on for the details.

Jim McIsaac
Is anyone else tired of playing the Boston Bruins? After being dominated in the first period, the New Jersey Devils were lucky to go level early in the second period. Unfortunately, Boston struck twice inside of two minutes and then simply saw out the rest of the game in comfortable fashion. Most of what the Bruins were able to do came off of forcing turnovers in the Devils defensive zone. The Devils committed twenty such turnovers and were poor exiting the zone overall. Their passing game generated thirty-three attempts (SAG), but only fifteen shots (SG). Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: Jaromir Jagr had himself a game, completing 22/27 passes and generating three shots on four attempts. Ryane Clowe (16/22) led the team with five shot attempts generated, but only saw two shots generated as a result of those efforts. Michael Ryder (8/11) added four SAG and two SG himself.

Adam Henrique (11/15) and Tuomo Ruutu (8/11) each generated two shot attempts, but no shots. Travis Zajac (14/15) generated three shot attempts, but no shots either.

Tim Sestito (7/10), Steve Bernier (7/11), and Patrik Elias (9/11) were the only forwards that failed to generate a single shot attempt.

Defensemen: The defensemen did their part in terms of shot-generation, as they were able to create ten shot attempts and six shots. Marek Zidlicky was off the mark with his passing on the night, finishing 20/28 with three SAG and one SG. Andy Greene (26/30, 2 SAG, 2 SG) and Eric Gelinas (28/33, 3 SAG, 2 SG) were the only defensemen to generate multiple shots.

Mark Fayne went 11/13 and was the only defenseman that failed to generate a shot attempt. Jon Merrill completed all but two of his twenty-five pass attempts. Bryce Salvador completed all but two of his sixteen shot attempts.



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:Damien Brunner, Dainius Zubrus, and Jagr were the strongest at keeping possession while exiting the zone. Other than that, there wasn’t much to be excited about.

Defensemen: Ten turnovers, six defensemen. Salvador finished with three turnovers, while Zidlicky, Greene, and Gelinas each had two, Fayne had one, and Merrill was perfect in his four exit attempts, keeping possession with each one. Apart from Gelinas’ two turnovers, his other five exits were with possession, so it was an up-and-down night for the rookie.


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?