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Minnesota Wild at New Jersey Devils: Zone Exit and Passing Stats

This is a look at the zone exit and passing statistics for the New Jersey Devils' 70th game against the Minnesota Wild on March 20th. Read on for the details.

Jim McIsaac
The New Jersey Devils came out very strong against the Minnesota Wild and dominated the shot count for much of the first and second periods. Two bad goals against in the third gifted the Wild a loser point, but otherwise were the only blemishes on an otherwise solid performance. Let’s get to it.

Passing Stats

Forwards: The damage was done by the top six forwards in this game. Patrik Elias led the way with four shots generated (SG) on five attempts (SAG). It was a strong turnaround from the Boston game for Patty. He only misfired on one of his fifteen passes as well.

After Elias, most of the team’s shot attempts were generated from Jaromir Jagr (4), Adam Henrique (3), Travis Zajac (3), Tuomo Ruutu (3), and Ryane Clowe (2). Other than Elias, only Zajac generated multiple shots, however.

Stephen Gionta, Michael Ryder, Jacob Josefson, and Tim Sestito failed to generate a sing shot attempt.

Defensemen: The blue line generated the same amount of chances as in the Bruins game earlier this week: ten shot attempts and six shots. Marek Zidlicky was still a bit off in the offensive zone (3/7), but managed to generate three shots on four attempts. Except for Jon Merrill, all other defensemen managed to generate a shot attempt, with Andy Greene, Eric Gelinas, and Bryce Salvador generating one shot apiece.



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: Defensemen: Gelinas didn’t record an exit attempt as Deboer kept him limited to power play and overtime play for the most part. Other than Mark Fayne’s single possession exit on four attempts, everyone was at 66.7 PE% or higher. The Wild simply couldn’t forecheck or generate any type of pressure for most of the game. The Devils could exit with possession almost at will and get into the offensive zone to set up shot rather easily. The game certainly didn’t feel like a 4-3 OT win.


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?