Saturday, November 15, 2014

Habs: Quantifying each player's offensive-contribution at even-strength

Using the words better and best to describe hockey players is great fodder for fans. That said, those words have no real value or place in player evaluation. Some players perform well in certain situation, while others perform well in other situations. This post will use 10 separate metrics to quantify each Montreal Canadiens player's contribution to plays that help create offense.


Players must be directly involved in the production of a scoring-chance in order to be credited within this metric. Forwards generally help produce more scoring-chances than defensemen.

Max Pacioretty has helped produce the most scoring-chances per-60 among Habs players. Other players with substantial sample sizes that have helped create the most scoring-chances include; PA Parenteau, Alex Galchenyuk, Lars Eller, and Rene Bourque. Among defensemen with substantial ice-time, PK Subban has helped create the most scoring-chances per-60.



The top offensive-players on any team create the most scoring-chances. The most efficient offensive-players create the most scoring-chances per-offensive-touch. An offensive-touch is defined as any play  a player attempts while in possession of the puck. Plays used in this calculation include; passes, dekes, dump-ins, and shots. Scoring-chances included in this post reflect only those scoring-chances where the player indicated has been directly involved in the creation of the chance, and not just on the ice.

Thanks in part to his low even-total, Rene Bourque has helped create the most scoring-chances per-100 possession plays, with Parenteau, Weise, David Desharnais, and Max Pacioretty also among the team leaders in this metric. Outside of Gonchar and his small sample size, Andre Markov has helped create the most scoring-chances per-100 possession plays among Habs d-men.


Puck-management is about making the necessary plays in order to gain, and maintain puck-possession in the offensive-zone. This post will communicate how well each player performed managing the puck. The graph included displays the percentage of all events (defensive and offensive/ all zones) each player engaged in while in possession of the puck in the offensive-zone. Those with a higher percentage spent more time with possession in the o-zone. Consequently, they spent less time defending in the defensive-zone.

This metric is usually used in tandem with offensive-zone start percentages in order to see whether a player is performing well, or simply profiting from a coach's deployment.


This metric helps us learn which players spend more of the "time" on the ice either defending or with possession of the puck. Logically, those players with higher percentages within this metric, have more opportunity to create offense than players who spend substantial energy defending.

Alex Galchenyuk has a higher percentage within this metric than any other Montreal player, while Subban leads all defensemen with adequate sample sizes.


This metric uses offensive and defensive-touches to quantify a player's impact on puck-possession. It communicates the how many more successful than unsuccessful plays that impact possession a player contributes per-60 minute of even-strength ice-time. Unlike player ratings, this metric does not take into account loose-puck recoveries. It only uses those plays that a player makes while in possession of the puck, and those plays that he makes when attempting to remove possession from the opposition.  The calculation is done by subtracting the number of failed plays a player makes (per-60) when in possession or attempting to remove possession from the number of successful plays he makes (per-60) with possession or while attempting to remove possession.

Among d-men with substantial ice-time, PK Subban produced a substantially higher possession-rating than any other Habs defensemen. Among forwards, Lars Eller has (by-far) the top possession-rating.


This metric attempts to quantify a player's offensive-impact in the offensive-zone. It uses events with a relatively-direct impact on scoring-chances to show which players are doing the necessary work to help create scoring-chances. Events used in this metric include; 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. The more players produced within these metrics, the more scoring-chances they tended to produce. 

Subban produced the most successful o-zone scoring-plays per-60 among Habs defensemen, while Galchenyuk produced the most among forwards. Other forwards with high contribution numbers within this metric include Gallagher, Pacioretty, and Eller.


Moving the puck successfully through the neutral-zone is a necessary ingredient in maximizing offensive-zone puck-possession plays, while minimizing defensive-plays in the defensive-zone. The specific relationship between certain neutral-zone metrics and scoring-chances were communicated a previous post.

This metric focuses on both how often each Montreal Canadiens player drives puck-possession through the neutral-zone. Only successful neutral-zone open-ice dekes, east/west passes, redline carries, offensive-zone blueline carries, and north/south passes were also used to quantify each player's contribution per-60. Other neutral-zone puck-possession metrics such as dump-in were not used, as they do not result in a team moving the puck through the neutral-zone while maintaining possession.

Subban has produced the most neutral-zone possession-driving plays per-60 among Habs d-men, while Gallagher has produced the most among forwards. Other forwards with high contribution numbers within this metric include Galchenyuk, Pacioretty and Eller.



This metric communicates the number of successful defensive-zone puck-moving plays each player produces per-60 minutes played. It helps tell us which players are moving the puck out of the defensive-zone while also maintaining puck-possession for their team.

Included in this graph are events that move the puck out of the defensive-zone with possession. These events include; outlet passes, stretch passes and defensive-blueline carries. The more players produced within these metrics, the more often these players helped drive the puck out of the defensive-zone, while also maintaining possession.  

When people describe a player as a puck-moving defenseman; this is the metric that directly quantifies that aspect of play.

Among d-men with substantial ice-time Subban has produced the most successful defensive-zone possession-driving plays per-60, while Eller has produced the most among forwards.


This metric is an extension of the above metric. While the above metric communicates results as a per-60
value, this metric communicates the result as a success-rate.