Sunday, October 26, 2014

Which Habs players are pushing possession and creating offense

One of the main objectives in hockey analytics is to establish a direct link between specific events that occur on the ice and scoring-chances. Obviously, the further away from the opponents' net (outlet pass) an offense-driving play occurs the less likely the play is to result in a scoring-chance. Similarly, the closer the event is to the opponents' net (pass to the slot), the more likely it is to result in a scoring-chance. Not surprisingly, the players who produced the most offense-driving plays per-60, were also among those players who produced the most scoring-chances per-60.

Only plays that push the puck up-ice while maintaining possession, or events in the offensive-zone that directly result in a shot on net were counted  as offense-driving plays. Every event from every Montreal Canadiens game this season was included. A list of all the events I track can be found here.


Relative to replacement, compares that player's total per-60 with an average player playing the same position. 

Successful offensive-zone events included are: Offensive-zone passes off of the rush, offensive-zone east/west passes, offensive-zone passes to the slot, offensive-zone loose-puck recoveries (off of dumps, broken plays, and rebounds), shots, and deflections

Successful neutral-zone events included are: Neutral-zone open-ice dekes, east/west passes, and north/south passes, along with redline and offensive-blueline controlled-carries 

Successful defensive-zone events included are: Outlet passes, stretch passes and defensive-blueline carries.

OVERALL OFFENSE-DRIVING PLAYS PER-60

This metric includes all possession driving plays from all 3 zones. Relative to replacement compares that player's total per-60 with an average player playing the same position. Lars Eller pushes possession more than any other Habs centre, while Brendan Gallagher is the top possession -pusher among wingers. Not surprisingly, PK Subban is by-far the top possession-pusher among Canadiens defensemen.




OFFENSIVE-ZONE SCORING-PLAYS

This metric includes only those scoring-chance-producing plays that occur in the offensive-zone. Relative to replacement compares that player's total with the total of an average player playing the same position.





NEUTRAL-ZONE POSSESSION DRIVING PLAYS

This metric includes only those events that drive possession successfully through the neutral-zone. Relative to replacement, compares that player's total per-60 with an average player playing the same position. 





DEFENSIVE-ZONE POSSESSION DRIVING PLAYS

This metric includes only those events that drive possession successfully out of the defensive-zone while maintaining possession. Relative to replacement, compares that player's total per-60 with an average player playing the same position.




OVERALL OFFENSIVE-ZONE POSSESSION PERCENTAGE

This metric communicates the percentage of each player's overall even-strength events that occur with possession of the puck in the offensive-zone. It is calculated by dividing the number of events each player engages in while in possession of the puck in the offensive-zone by the total events (with and without possession) each player engaged in at even-strength.