Sports Magazine

Habs D-men: Defensive-zone Tendencies Fluctuate Based on Game's Result and Score

By Kicks @Chrisboucher73
Tracking tendencies help us determine which options players attempt most when in possession of the puck in a specific zone. This post will focus on the Montreal Canadiens defensemen; specifically, their tendencies when in possession of the puck in the defensive-zone. The averages are broken down by the game's final result:
  • ES POS = games where the Habs outscored the opposition at even-strength
  • ES NEG = games the Habs were outscored by the opposition at ES
  • WINS = games the Habs won
  • LOSSES= games the Habs lost
Score effects contribute substantially to the tendencies below. As the score changes, opposition teams change their forechecking structure. This produced an increase in D-to-D passes in games where the Habs trailed, as teams moved from a strong forechecking system to a neutral-zone trapping system. This also impacted the deke totals, as Habs defensemen were no longer being forced to beat opposition forecheckers 1-on1 in the defensive-zone.
The tendencies also paint of picture of an increase in gap issues when the Habs lost or were outscored at ES. Montreal defensemen were far more likely to attempt stretch passes in games where the team didn't have a successful result. Consequently, regular outlet passes were more likely in games the Habs won or outscored the opposition; pointing to a solid defense-to-forward gap.
Montreal defensemen also demonstrate a propensity to choose the simple and safe play in games where they experienced success, as the dump-out option was chosen more often when the Habs won or outscored the opposition.
WHEN HABS OUTSCORE THE OPPOSITION AT EVEN-STRENGTH

WHEN HABS ARE OUTSCORED BY THE OPPOSITION AT ES

WHEN HABS WIN

WHEN HABS LOSE


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