The following data was tracked from Game 5 of the Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks series. Given that Game 7 is also at Anaheim, this information may be useful for insights into how the matchups on Anaheim’s home ice affected the teams’ performances.
*All data herein was tracked by and is the work product of Jennifer Lute Costella.*
PLAYER ID GUIDE
ZONE ENTRIES – EVEN STRENGTH
The following data is for 5 on 5 play only during Game 5 in Anaheim. Dump ins include chip and chase entries as well as traditional dump ins from the neutral zone. Carry in entries include both entries accomplished by carrying the puck into the offensive zone on your stick as well as a short direct pass from the neutral zone to a player entering the offensive zone. The player making the pass is credited with the carry in for that situation.
Rakell led the Ducks at successfully carrying the puck into the offensive zone. Kesler led the team at dumping the puck into the offensive zone. Kesler, Cogliano and Silfverberg’s zone entries resulted in the highest number of unblocked shot attempts for Anaheim.
Kane led Chicago in controlled zone entries. Bickell led the team in dumping the puck into the zone. Cumiskey only had one carry in, but had a very nice unblocked shots generated mark from that entry. Kane’s zone entries generated the highest number of unblocked shots. He tied with Toews for the most unblocked shots generated on his carry in zone entries.
Targeted defensemen are the defensemen responsible for the side of the ice where the opponent enters the offensive zone. These are usually the players pressuring the puck carrier either near the blue line or in cases where the defense has to play deeper in the zone, covering the puck carrier once they are in the zone.
SUCCESSFUL ZONE ENTRIES
Successful zone entries for the purpose of this chart are controlled entries, dump ins that are successfully retrieved and turnover entries. Occasionally, a forward ends up having to cover for a defenseman because he was caught pinching or on a line change. Because this doesn’t happen very often and targets are mainly a way to evaluate defenseman, entries where a forward had to cover for the defenseman are not included in the charts.
Anaheim Zone Entries versus Chicago Defensemen
Chicago Zone Entries versus Anaheim Defensemen
FAILED ZONE ENTRIES
Failed Zone Entries for the purpose of this chart include entry attempts where the puck carrier failed to gain the offensive zone as well as dump ins where possession of the puck was not recovered by the attacking team.
Anaheim Failed Entries versus Chicago Defensemen
Chicago Failed Entries versus Anaheim Defensemen
Zone Exits are pretty self-explanatory. When the defending team is able to get the puck out of the zone, a zone exit is recorded. The numbers here are for even strength play and with the goalie pulled. This does not include situations where the defense is regrouping to go on the offensive attack with only one (or no) forecheckers pressuring. I’ve broken these out in an attempt to capture what is happening in the defensive zone when the defending team is trying to reclaim possession of the puck during the opponent’s offensive attack.
Controlled exits (CONT. EXITS) include carrying the puck out of the zone and making a tape to tape pass from the defensive zone to the neutral zone. Uncontrolled exits (DUMP OUT) include dumping the puck out of the zone and passes out of the defensive zone that miss their intended target. ES TOI means even strength time on ice. Cont Exit% means the percentage of the player’s total zone exits that were controlled. Cont Exit/60 is a rate statistic that basically shows how many controlled exits the player would produce if he were playing for 60 minutes (assuming that was possible).
Lindholm and Beauchemin, Anaheim’s top defensive pairing in terms of the depth chart, produced controlled zone exits at the highest rate. Despres, despite having the highest even strength ice time, produced the lowest rate of controlled exits largely due to matchups causing problems for his pairing.
Seabrook led the Chicago defense in controlled zone exits both in actual number and in controlled exits per 60. Cumiskey actually did quite well in trying to carry or pass the puck out of the zone as opposed to dumping it out. Hjalmarsson, while tied for the lead in the number of zone exits, had the poorest controlled exit percentage, which is consistent with his season long habit of simply dumping the puck out when under heavy pressure in the defensive zone.
Not at all surprisingly, Corey Perry led the Ducks forwards in getting the puck out of the defensive zone. His exits were evenly split between controlled and uncontrolled actions. One very interesting set of data for Anaheim forwards comes from Sekac. He had one of the lowest marks for even strength ice time and yet managed to tie with Cogliano for second in the number of zone exits. He also had the highest controlled exits per 60 rate of Anaheim’s forwards.
Toews, Bickell, Teravainen and Richards shared the top spot among Chicago forwards in zone exits. This is usually due to the breakout system the team uses because certain forwards are tasked with being in the best position to get the puck out. Richards produced the highest number of controlled exits for the forwards with no uncontrolled zone exits during the game.
DEFENSIVE ZONE TOUCHES
Passes are exactly what you would think they are, namely a tape to tape pass in the defensive zone. Tosses are counted when a player simply puts the puck somewhere without an intended target (i.e. clearing the puck to the corner or rimming it up the boards for a teammate to try to battle for it) but his teammates have a decent chance of recovering the puck. Turnovers are those where the player loses the puck directly off of his stick. Pass turnovers are bad passes that go directly to an opponent. Cont Touch% is the percentage of the player’s total defensive zone intentional touches of the puck that are controlled. Cont Touch/60 and Uncont Touch/60 are simply controlled and uncontrolled touches of the puck in the defensive zone per 60 (rate). Direct Turnover Diff is calculated by taking the number of direct turnovers forced by the player in the defensive zone and subtracting the number of the direct turnovers the player committed in the defensive zone. Obviously, you would prefer to see the player have a positive number in this category or at least break even.
Despres had the most trouble with turnovers during Game 5 both in terms of direct turnovers, where the puck was in his possession and another player caused him to lose it, and passing turnovers, where he either made a poor pass that went to an opponent or he rimmed the puck up the boards directly to an opponent with no chance for one of his teammates to recover the puck.
Fowler, Beauchemin, and Lindholm were the only Anaheim defensemen to finish with higher Controlled Touch rates than Uncontrolled Touch rates in the defensive zone during Game 5.
Hjalmarsson and Timonen were the only Chicago defensemen to record lower controlled touch rates than uncontrolled touch rates in the defensive zone. Controlled touches are preferred to uncontrolled of course. All of the Chicago defensemen broke even or came out with positive numbers in turnover differential. Keith and Seabrook had the highest controlled touches rates in the defensive zone, with Seabrook also registering the lowest uncontrolled touches rate as well.
Sekac was very impressive in terms of controlling his actions with the puck in the defensive zone. Combined with his speed, that is a promising note in terms of his usage by Anaheim. Perry led the Anaheim forwards in turnover differential.
Kane registered the highest number of controlled touches in the defensive zone. Toews, Shaw, Vermette and Hossa led the Chicago forwards in turnover differential.
OF NOTE: DUMPING THE PUCK OUT OF THE DEFENSIVE ZONE
When the teams dumped the puck out of the zone while under pressure by their opponents, the next zone entry was attempted by their opponent 69.3% of the time. The team dumping the puck out attempted the next zone entry only 30.7% of the time. Approximately 42% of those entry attempts (when the team dumping the puck attempted the next entry) were brought on by the dumping team either going back into their own defensive zone to regroup or more often, by one of the forwards causing a turnover when the opponent had possession of the puck in the neutral zone or the opponent’s defensive zone.
BREAKOUTS AND REGROUPS UNDER PRESSURE
The types of plays included in this category are those where the attacking team has control of the puck in their defensive zone and are preparing to go on the attack. Breakouts are just a term I use to differentiate between plays starting back behind the net and motion regroups higher in the defensive zone. The regroups were only tracked if at least one forechecking opponent pressured the zone exit. Because these plays are usually completed by the defensemen, I’ve listed them individually and only included the forwards with the team breakdown.
Anaheim’s defensemen did not carry the puck out of the zone on breakouts or motion regroups under pressure. They instead relied solely upon exit passes to forwards in the neutral zone.
TEAM BREAKOUT & REGROUP TOUCHES
Chicago’s forwards were more actively involved in regroups and breakouts than Anaheim’s forwards. Chicago also had to regroup and go behind the net to complete their breakouts far more often than Anaheim did during Game 5.