If you've been keeping up with this blog or following me on Twitter over the last few months, then you probably know that I've been doing some extensive data tracking from this year's NHL playoffs. I've been posting scoring chances periodically throughout the playoffs but in addition to that, I have also been tracking zone entries and zone exits. My analysis & findings on those will be posted at a later date, but just because I like you guys, I'll have all of the raw data posted here for anyone who wants to see it.
Putting all of the data into one post might be a little overwhelming, so I'm going to break things down into different sections to make things a little easier to read. I'll start off by posting the total zone entry & zone exit numbers for every team and follow it up with the numbers from each series to get more of an individual breakdown. This post will be focused on zone entries.
For those who are new to zone entries, this post from NHL Numbers does a good job of explaining them and their significance. I have also discussed the importance of zone entries in a few previous posts but the Cliff Notes version can be summed up like this. More offense is generated at even strength off entries which are done with possession of the puck, meaning the attacking team gains the opposing blue-line via carry-in or pass rather than simply getting the puck deep. Teams who are able to do this more often than their opponents generally win the territorial battle and have better underlying numbers, which leads to success in the big picture.
The playoffs, however, brought some interesting observations when it came to how often teams resorted to dump-and-chase. Out of 16 playoff teams, only three of them had control on over 50% of their 5v5 zone entries during the post-season, which sort of surprised me because a few of them were ones who are considered good possession teams. This likely the result of teams playing the same opponents over a small sample size, but how often teams were reverting to dump-and-chase in the playoffs surprised me a little. I'll have more analysis here at a later date.
Follow the jump for a look at the raw data.
Detroit Red Wings
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
A big thank you goes to Eric Tulsky of Broad Street Hockey for making this whole project possible.