Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Comparing the play of Habs and Leafs centres in the neutral-zone

This post continues with my work of tracking every puck-possession event for 3 separate NHL teams.  Included in this post are the numbers for the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and a mystery team. The data for this particular mystery team will be handed over to that team later in the season, which explains why I'm reluctant to name the team.

A team's performance in the neutral-zone has a substantial impact on whether they spend more time defending in the defensive-zone, or with possession of the puck in the offensive-zone. This post will focus on just a small portion of the neutral-zone data for each of the three team's centremen through games played up to and including October 20th.


EVEN-STRENGTH SCORING-CHANCES PER-60

ES scoring-chances per-60 reflect the number of scoring-chances each team's group of centres were directly involved in producing per-60 minutes of even-strength ice-time. The data also reflects the number of scoring-chances AGAINST each team's centremen were directly involved in allowing.

Habs centres produced substantially more ES scoring-chances per-60, while Leafs centres produced the fewest chances. In terms of chances against, the mystery team's centres were the most stingy defensively, while Leafs centres were directly involved in allowing the most ES chances against per-60.

LEAFS
HABS
?
SCORING CHANCES FOR PER-60
7.425
11.730
10.388
SCORING CHANCES FOR PER-60
SCORING CHANCES AGAINST PER-60
9.075
7.038
4.415
SCORING CHANCES AGAINST PER-60


ES  SCORING-CHANCES PER-POSSESSION-PLAY

ES scoring-chances per-60 reflect the number of scoring-chances each group of players were able to help produce per-possession play. This is a similar metric to one used in basketball. Possession-plays used in this calculation include any play made while in possession of the puck (pass, deke, shot, dump-out, dump-in).

This metric helps relate how opportunistic a player or group of players is/are. The higher the number, the more chances they produce per-possession play. It can also relate easily a player or group of players produces scoring-chances.

The mystery team's centres have been marginally more opportunistic than Habs centres, while Leafs centres have been the least opportunistic of the three teams included here.

LEAFS
HABS
?
SCORING-CHANCES PER POSSESSION PLAY 
0.061
0.086
0.088
SCORING-CHANCES PER POSSESSION PLAY 



NEUTRAL-ZONE RATINGS, RATIOS AND T-2-T RATIOS

Neutral-zone ratio simply expresses the number of successful plays (both defensive and offensive) a player produces for every 1 failed play. The higher the number, the more successful that player or group of players has/have been. The mystery team's centres have produced 3.44 successful plays in the neutral-zone per failed play, while Habs centres have produced only 2.2 successful plays in the neutral-zone for every 1 failed play.

Neutral-zone rating simply reflects how many more successful plays than FAILED plays a player or group of players has produced per-minute played. Breaking this metric down using ice-time helps separate more active players from less active players, as a higher rating is both the product of better possession play, and more events. Not surprisingly, considering their ratio, the mystery team's centres have produced a substantially higher neutral-zone rating than either the Leafs or Habs.

Neutral-zone takeaway to turnover ratio reflects the number of takeaways a player or group of players produces for every 1 turnover. A takeaway is defined as any attempt to remove puck-possession from the opposition, and can include stick-checks, body-checks, and blocked passes. A turnover is defined as any failed attempt while in possession of the puck, and can include a failed pass, deke, or dump-in. The mystery team's centres have produced an exceptional neutral-zone T-2-T ratio so far this season, while Habs centres have the lowest n-zone T-2-T ratio.

LEAFS
HABS
?
N-ZONE RATIO
2.37
2.20
3.44
N-ZONE RATIO
LEAFS
HABS
?
SUCCESSFUL EVENTS /MP
0.46
0.50
0.54
SUCCESSFUL EVENTS /MP
FAILED EVENTS  / MP
0.20
0.22
0.16
FAILED EVENTS  / MP
LEAFS
HABS
?
EVENTS/ MIN
0.66
0.72
0.69
EVENTS/ MIN
N-ZONE RATING
0.27
0.27
0.38
N-ZONE RATING
N-ZONE TAKEAWAY TO TURNOVER RATIO
0.758
0.651
1.400
N-ZONE TAKEAWAY TO TURNOVER RATIO



NEUTRAL-ZONE PUCK-POSSESSION EVENTS AND SUCCESS-RATES

This group of numbers expresses the number of attempted plays with possession per-60, the number of successful plays with possession per-60, as well as these team's centremen's success-rate while making a play with possession in the neutral-zone. Subtracting puck-possession success-rate from 100 will give us a team or player's turnover-rate.

The Habs centres have produced the most successful n-zone puck-possession plays per-60, while the mystery team has the top neutral-zone puck-possession success-rate. Leafs centres have produced the fewest successful n-zone possession plays, and also have the lowest success-rate.

LEAFS
HABS
?
SUC. N-ZONE O-TOUCHES PER-60
14.44
16.42
15.84
SUC. N-ZONE O-TOUCHES PER-60
ATT. N-ZONE O-TOUCHES PER-60
23.51
26.39
22.07
ATT. N-ZONE O-TOUCHES PER-60
N-ZONE OTOUCH SUCCESS-RATE
61.4%
62.2%
71.8%
N-ZONE OTOUCH SUCCESS-RATE


REDLINE CARRIES PER-60

Redline carries helps tell us which player or group of players is carrying the puck up ice through the neutral-zone. Habs centres have carried the puck over the redline more often than any of the other two team's centres, while the mystery team's centres have carried the puck through the neutral-zone substantially less-often.

This tells us that the mystery team relies less on their centremen to carry the puck up ice.

LEAFS
HABS
?
RED CARRY PER-60
11.76
12.71
6.23
RED CARRY PER-60


OFFENSIVE-ZONE CONTROLED ENTRIES PER-60

Offensive-zone controlled entries helps tell us which player or group of players is carrying the puck into the offensive-zone. Habs centres have carried the puck over the offensive-blueline more often than any of the other two team's centres, while the mystery team's centres have carried the puck through the neutral-zone substantially less-often.

This tells us that the mystery team relies less on their centremen to carry the puck up into the offensive-zone.

LEAFS
HABS
?
O-ZONE ENTRIES  PER-60
12.99
14.27
5.71
O-ZONE ENTRIES  PER-60



EVEN-STRENGTH DUMP-IN TOTALS AND SUCCESS-RATES

This data indicates the number of successful and attempted dump-ins each group of centres had contributed per-60 minutes of even-strength ice-time. The Leafs have attempted and completed more dump-ins per-60 than Montreal, but the mystery team leads in all aspects of this metric.

LEAFS
HABS
?
SUC. DUMP-INS  PER-60
4.95
4.69
5.97
SUC. DUMP-INS  PER-60
 ATT. DUMP-INS PER-60
6.19
6.06
6.75
 ATT. DUMP-INS PER-60
DUMP-IN SUCCESS-RATE
80.0%
76.8%
88.5%
 DUMP-IN SUCCESS-RATE


EVEN-STRENGTH CHIP-IN TOTALS AND SUCCESS-RATES

This data indicates the number of successful and attempted chip-ins each group of centres has attempted per-60 minutes of ES ice-time. A successful chip in is defined as an attempt to redirect a pass from a teammate deep into the offensive-zone.

The Leafs centres have attempted and completed less than half of the chip-ins produced by either Montreal or the mystery team.

LEAFS
HABS
?
SUC. CHIP-DUMPS PER-60
0.412
1.760
2.078
SUC. CHIP-DUMPS PER-60
ATT. CHIP-DUMPS PER-60
0.825
2.151
2.337
ATT. CHIP-DUMPS PER-60
CHIP DUMP SUCCESS-RATE
50.0%
81.8%
88.9%
CHIP DUMP SUCCESS-RATE


PERCENTAGE OF OVERALL ES EVENTS (DEFENDING OR WITH POSSESSION)

This metric provides us with information regarding 2 separate aspects of play. Overall defensive-zone defending percentage reflects the percentage of overall even-strength events each group of centres has spent attempted to remove puck-possession (defending) in the defensive-zone.

Overall offensive-zone possession percentage reflects the percentage of overall ES events each group of players spent while in possession of the puck in the offensive-zone.

Leafs centres have spent more "time" stuck defending in the defensive-zone than either Montreal or the mystery team. Montreal's centres have spent more "time" with puck-possession in the offensive-zone than either the Leafs or the mystery team.

LEAFS
HABS
?
OVERALL D-ZONE DEFENDING PERCENTAGE
17.0%
13.2%
14.7%
OVERALL D-ZONE DEFENDING PERCENTAGE
OVERALL O-ZONE POSSESSION PERCENTAGE
35.3%
40.3%
33.5%
OVERALL O-ZONE POSSESSION PERCENTAGE


EVEN-STRENGTH NEUTRAL-ZONE TENDENCIES

This data indicates the percentage of each group of players' neutral-zone puck-possession events that were used to attempt each play indicated here.  The higher the percentage, the more often each team's centres chose that play.

Leafs centres were more likely to chose an east/west pass in the n-zone than any other group of centres. Habs centres were more likely to chose a north-bound pass, or a south-bound pass. Habs centres also attempted a higher percentage of dekes than the other teams, while the mystery team was more likely to either dump the puck, or chip the puck in than either Montreal or Toronto.

LEAFS
HABS
?
 ATTEMPTED EAST/WEST PASS
26.0%
14.1%
22.2%
 ATTEMPTED EAST/WEST PASS
 ATTEMPTED NZONE NORTH PASS
20.0%
20.3%
12.3%
 ATTEMPTED NZONE NORTH PASS
 ATTEMPTED NZONE SOUTH PASS
10.0%
14.1%
13.6%
 ATTEMPTED NZONE SOUTH PASS
 ATTEMPTED DEKE
10.0%
18.8%
8.6%
 ATTEMPTED DEKE
 ATTEMPTED DUMP-IN
30.0%
24.2%
32.1%
 ATTEMPTED DUMP-IN
 ATTEMPTED CHIP-IN
4.0%
8.6%
11.1%
 ATTEMPTED CHIP-IN
LEAFS
HABS
?