Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Attempting to establish a link between plays that drive the offense and scoring-chances

Which plays drive the offense

In previous posts I focused on possession-driving plays that occur in the defensive-zone, the neutral-zone, and the offensive-zone. This post will combine the total of each of the plays discussed in those posts in order to calculate the number of offense-driving plays each Habs player contributed per-60 minutes of even-strength ice-time.

The main objective remains 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 included. Every event from every Montreal Canadiens 2013-14 regular season and 2014 playoff game was included. A list of all the events I track can be found here.

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.

During games where the Habs out-chanced the opposition at even-strength they averaged 52.7 offense-driving plays per-60. In games where they were out-chanced they averaged 49.1.

REGRESSION ANALYSIS

ALL HABS PLAYERS


Regression analysis using offense-driving plays and scoring-chances produces an r-squared value of 0.76. Expressed simply, 76% of the variability in scoring-chances between players can be explained by the number of offense-driving plays they produced.

Outliers within the graph include PK Subban and Thomas Vanek. Subban produced more offense-driving plays than his scoring-chance total would indicate, while Vanek produced more scoring-chances than his offense-driving plays would indicate. Subban's numbers are a result of producing many of his offense-driving plays in both the defensive and neutral-zones, while Vanek's numbers are the result of a player who produced the bulk of his offense-driving plays in the offensive-zone. In other words, Subban needed to produce more offense-driving plays to produce each scoring-chances, while Vanek produced more scoring-chances with fewer offense-driving plays.



HABS DEFENSEMEN

Regression analysis using offense-driving plays and scoring-chances produces an r-squared value for Habs defensemen of 0.8597. Expressed simply, 86% of the variability in scoring-chances between players can be explained by the number of offense-driving plays each Habs defenseman produced. Subban is the only substantial outlier within the graph, as he produces dramatically more offense-driving plays per-60 than any other Habs d-man.



EVEN-STRENGTH OFFENSE-DRIVING PLAYS PER-60

Subban easily led all d-men in offense-driving plays per-60, while Douglas Murray produced the fewest. Among centres, Lars Eller contributed the most offense-driving plays per-60, while Ryan White had the fewest. Max Pacioretty had more offense-driving plays per-60 than any other Montreal player; followed closely by Brendan Gallagher. George Parros and Travis Moen contributed the fewest offense-driving plays per-60 among forwards.




EVEN-STRENGTH SCORING-CHANCES PER-60