Sports Magazine

Offensive-zone Tendencies for Habs Forwards

By Kicks @Chrisboucher73
Data-generated scouting provides us with an otherwise unavailable opportunity to quantify each player's tendency when in possession of the puck. These tendencies can be broken down by zone, by manpower situation, or both. Studying player tendencies could help determine why certain players are producing specific possession success-rates.
This post will focus on each Montreal Canadiens player's tendencies when in possession of the puck in the offensive-zone. Only even-strength events in the offensive-zone were used in this calculation. Obviously, the higher the percentage, the more often each player has chosen to attempt that play.
Player tendencies in the offensive-zone are broken down into 5 categories:
  • Attempted pass to the slot
  • Attempted passes to a player positioned outside of the slot
  • Attempted dekes in mid-ice
  • Attempted deke along the wall (puck-protection posture)
  • Attempted shots on net

WINGERS
This chart represents the average tendencies for every player who has played predominately as a winger this season.
The Habs wingers have produced an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 54.7% this season. Their o-touch success-rate last season was 55%.


Brandon Prust has an above-average o-zone puck-possession success-rate of 57.4%. Prust chooses to deke along the wall, and pass along the outside more often than the average winger, reflecting his to attempt to manufacture offense by cycling the puck.

Brendan Gallagher has a below-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 51.9%. Gallagher chooses to shoot more often than the average winger. He attempts far fewer outside passes, and even fewer passes to the slot. His low "pass to the slot" total reflects his willingness to go to the tough areas. It's almost impossible to pass the puck to a teammate in the slot when you're always in the slot.

George Parros' has an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of only 20%. Expressed differently, Parros loses possession of the puck in the offensive-zone 80% of the time he has it on his stick. Understandably, his tendencies show a player who is not creative in the offensive-zone.

Rene Bourque has a below-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 51%. He actually chooses the shoot option less-often than the average winger, while working the puck along the wall more often.

Brian Gionta has an above-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 56.3%. He chooses to shoot more often than the average winger.

Alex Galchenyuk has a below-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 48.8%. He chooses to shoot less-often than the average winger, and chooses to attempt a pass to a teammate positioned in the slot more often the average. His low puck-possession success-rate is the result of choosing low-percentage, but high-reward plays.

Travis Moen has a substantially above-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 57.6%. He makes many of his possession plays from the outside, as evidenced by his high passing-rates; both along the outside, and toward a teammate positioned in the slot.

Daniel Briere has a below-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 51.1%. Briere chooses to shoot more often than the average Montreal winger. Surprisingly, he attempts fewer passes to the slot than average.

Michael Bournival has an impressive offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 63.7%. He works the puck along the wall more often than the average winger; choosing the wall deke option 21.5% of the time he has possession.

Max Pacioretty has an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 54.3%.  He chooses to shoot, and attempts to beat players 1on1 (deke) more often than the average winger. His above-average tendency to attempt passes to player already positioned in the slot definitely reflect a player spending too much time on the perimeter.

CENTRES
This chart represents the average tendencies for every player who has played predominately as a center this season.
The Habs centres have produced an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 55.6% this season. Their o-touch success-rate last season was a substantially-higher 58.8%.

Tomas Plekanec has a below-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of only 49.3%. He chooses to shoot more often, and pass less-often than the average Montreal center.

Despite his struggles, David Desharnais still posts an above-average offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 59.7%. He has actually attempted fewer passes to the slot than the average centre, and has chosen to work the puck outside far more often. He has attempted to shoot only 18.3% of the time he has had possession of the puck in the offensive-zone.

Ryan White has an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 63%. White actually had the top o-zone puck-possession success-rate among all Montreal forwards during the 2011-12 season. White maintains a o-touch success-rate by making high-percentage choices; such as passes along the outside and shots-on-net.

Lars Eller has an offensive-zone puck-possession success-rate of 54.2%. Among centres, only Desharnais chooses to beat players 1on1 (deke) more often than Eller. Eller chooses to attempt a pass to a teammate positioned in the slot more often than any other Habs centreman; likely the product of playing with Gallagher.

Tendencies can be an important clue to a player's performance. Thankfully, data-generated scouting allows us to quantify each player's tendency when in possession of the puck.

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