Sunday, April 1, 2012

Habs: Top Performers in Each Statistical Category (part 3)

Tracking each event during a game allows us to quantify players' performances across multiple statistical categories. Below is  a list of the top performers among Montreal Canadiens players in each category we track. 


Tracking events per-minute of ice-time allows us to determine the average number of  events a player is involved in during each minute they are on the ice. This gives us a numerical value indicating how involved a player is in the play.

Lars Eller leads the Canadiens, as he is involved in an average of 4.32 events per-minute of ice-time. Scott Gomez is involved in the second-most events per-minute of ice-time (4.26), while Brad Staubitz engages in the fewest events per-minute of ice-time (2.61).

Among defensemen, PK Subban is the most involved, as he engages in 4.04 events per-minute, while Andrei Markov is the second-most involved. Like Subban, Markov plays substantial minutes on the powerplay, thereby padding his event numbers. The Powerplay is about puck-possession, and puck-possession obviously increases event-totals. Josh Gorges engages in the fewest events per-minute of ice-time among d-men. Gorges event totals are low due to his involvement in the penalty-kill, where puck-possession events are limited. 


Success within this category is a strong representation of a players defensive-ability. Events included in this category include, puck-battles, blocked shots, loose-puck recoveries, blocked-passes, etc. In short, this category comes down to a players ability to be successful when engaging in plays where the other team already has puck-possession.

Max Pacioretty has the top success-rate within this category. Pacioretty is successful during 74% of his attempts to acquire or remove puck-possession from the opposition. Mathieu Darche has the second-best success-rate among forwards, as he is successful during 73% of these events.  Brad Staubitz has the lowest success-rate in this category (62%).

Among defensemen, Josh Gorges is successful during 73% of these events, while PK Subban is successful 72% of the time. Raphael Diaz has the lowest success-rate among d-men, as he is successful during 66% of the events he engages in that require him to remove or obtain puck-possession from the opposition.


Success within this category is a strong representation of a player's ability to make plays. Maintaining puck-possession is paramount to any offensive-success. Events tracked within this category include passes, dekes, shots, etc. In short, any event where a player already has possession of the puck.

Tomas Kaberle has the highest success-rate within this category. Number 22 is successful during 74% of events that require him to maintain puck-possession. He is followed by Gorges (72%) and Subban (72%). Diaz, Alexei Yemelin, Yannick Weber and Fred St. Denis all come in with success-rates in-and-around 65%; with Weber actually having the lowest percentage.

Among forwards, Scott Gomez and Plekanec have the highest success-rate within this category, as both players are successful with 65% of events that require them to maintain puck-possession. Rene Bourque (58%) has the second-lowest success-rate within this category; just slightly ahead of Staubitz (57%).


Recovering puck-possession within any zone is a key part of a team's success. Recoving loose-pucks in the offensive-zone has proven to be essential in creating offense. By recovering loose-pucks in the o-zone, teams are able to maintain offensive-pressure, and create more scoring chances.

Pacioretty leads the team, as he averages 0.42 loose-puck recoveries per-minute of ice-time. Other players with high puck-recovery numbers in the offensive-zone include, Aaron Palushaj, and Blake Geoffrion. Andreas Engqvist recovers the lowest amount of o-zone loose-pucks per-minute of ice, even lower than Staubitz.

Defenesemen recover substantially fewer loose-pucks in the offensive-zone. Among d-men, Markov recovers the most loose-pucks per-minute of ice-time, followed by Weber and St. Denis.


Recovering loose-pucks in the defensive-zone allows teams to clear their own zone more efficiently. Being the first player to loose-pucks in the d-zone is the first step in any team's transition-game.

Obviously defensemen recover far more d-zone loose-pucks than forwards, and substantially more than wingers. PK Subban recovers the most d-zone loose-pucks of any Montreal player. He is followed by St. Denis and Chris Campoli. Diaz recovers the fewest among the d-core, as he is often beaten to loose-pucks by the opposition.

Lars Eller recovers far more d-zone loose-pucks per-minute of ice-time than any other Canadiens forward. In fact, Eller recovers more d-zone pucks than both Gorges, and Diaz. Staubitz recovers the fewest d-zone loose-pucks among forwards, while Bourque recovers only slightly more d-zone loose-pucks than the aforementioned Staubitz.


Recovering loose-pucks in the neutral-zone allows teams to create offense from neutral-zone turnovers. A neutral-zone loose-puck recovery can easily result in an odd-man rush. Neutral-zone loose-puck recoveries occur far less than puck-recoveries in other zones. As such, players with less ice-time tend to have higher per-minute averages.

Among players with substantial ice-time, Pacioretty and Darche recover the most neutral-zone loose pucks.

Part 4 to follow

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