Sports Magazine

HABS: Success-rates Creating Turnovers in Offensive-zone

By Kicks @Chrisboucher73
The goal of any forchecking player is to acquire or remove puck-possession from the opposition. Offensive-zone takeaways create offensive-zone pressure. These turnovers can be accomplished by winning a puck-battle (either with a hit or with a stick-check), recovering a loose-puck, or intercepting a pass. Defensemen can also contribute by blocking opposition clearing attempts. The graph is a visual representation of every Montreal Canadiens skater's success-rate when engaging in one of these offensive-zone events. The calculation allows us to quantify each player's ability to create turnovers by either removing or regaining puck-possession from the opposing team. The events used in this calculation include:
  • Offensive-zone puck-battles
  • Lost offensive-zone puck-battles
  • Offensive-zone loose-puck recoveries
  • Lost races to loose-pucks in the offensive-zone
  • Blocked/intercepted passes
  • Failed Blocked/ intercepted passes (puck goes under stick or through legs)
  • Successful poke-checks

These results are restricted to even-strength play in the offensive-zone.  My research this season has shown a direct link between offensive-zone loose-puck recoveries, and shot totals.
HABS: Success-rates creating turnovers in offensive-zone
The most efficient Canadiens forward at removing or acquiring puck-possession from the opposition in the offensive-zone is Ryan White. White is successful with 83% of his events within this category. He is a solid forechecker; as long as his foot speed allows him to engage. He won 63% of his offensive-zone puck-battles, and recovered 75 loose-pucks. He was also able to block or intercept 12 opposition passes in the offensive-zone.
Other forwards with success-rates above 80% include; Brad Staubitz (82%), Blake Geoffrion (80%), Max Pacioretty (83%), Erik Cole (82%), and Louis Leblanc (81%). Staubitz and Geoffrion were able to recover a relatively high number of loose-pucks, while Pacioretty, Cole and Leblanc intercepted a high-percentage of opposition passes, while also recovered loose-pucks.
The lowest success-rate among forwards with substantial events was earned by Travis Moen. Moen was successful with 75% of his attempts to acquire or remove puck-possession from the opposition. He won 51% of his o-zone puck-battles, but was only successful with 56% of his attempts to intercept opposition passes. Brian Gionta's low success-rate (75%) was also a product of his inability to intercept opposition passes in the offensive-zone.
In order for a defenseman to have a high success-rate when attempting to remove or acquire puck-possession in the offensive-zone, he must have a high hockey-IQ. Success in these events are about reading and reacting. Alexei Emelin was the most successful Canadiens defenseman when engaging in these offensive-zone events. He was successful with 86% of his attempts. He won 57% of his o-zone puck-battles, and 91% of his races to loose-pucks. He was also successful with 76% of his attempts to keep the puck in at the blueline.
Other defensemen with high success-rates include; PK Subban and Andrei Markov. Both players were able to win a high percentage of their races to loose-pucks.
The lowest success-rate among d-men belonged to Raphael Diaz (73%) and Tomas Kaberle (75%). Both players struggle winning offensive-zone puck-battles. In fact, Kaberle's o-zone puck-battle winning-percentage was the lowest on the team. 

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