Sens Pre-season Zone Exits

Sens Pre-season Zone Exits

Answering a question only I had, by inaccurately tracking statistics

By Scheherazade | N/A | Oct 15, 2022, 19:25 EDT |

Near the end of the 2021/22 season, I became frustrated with the number of chances and goals against that arose from the Senators goaltenders leaving the net to play the puck. I expressed this frustration in a Recap article and another user (I do not recall who, otherwise I would shout you out) replied, saying that, by the eye test, a goaltender playing the puck significantly improves the likelihood of a clean zone exit. So, starting this season, I decided to test it and see if the numbers bear that out.

Before we get to the results of the pre-season, a few clarifications on how I am collecting these statistics. It should be noted that I am by no means tracking these numbers correctly, accurately, or accounting for the numerous variables and factors involved. I am simply looking for patterns to shake out in the aggregate.

  • · I am defining a clean exit as a player carrying the puck across the blue line or a player being the first to gain possession after the puck has left the defensive zone.

  • · I am only counting scenarios in which the goaltender played, or could have played, the puck in the trapezoid behind the net, not just anytime the goalie leaves the crease.

  • · I am not including anything involving special teams.

  • · I am not accounting for opposition statistics. This is purely to simplify the process and make the games more enjoyable to watch, I do not want to be pausing and rewinding the whole game through.

  • · The individual tabulation is based on the approximate location of the players when the puck crosses the line into the defensive zone on a dump-in. It is almost entirely arbitrary and simply for some relative context of when goaltender assistance is more effective.

Follow this link to view the statistics as I collect them.

In 24 individual instances, over the course of 5 games, of a dump-in reaching the trapezoid and the goaltender not playing the puck, the Sens had a clean exit success rate of 0%, 20%, 50%, 0%, and 50%, respectively. This averages out to a 21% success rate overall. In 38 individual instances, over 5 games, of the goaltender playing the puck, the Sens had a success rate of 21%, 100%, 17%, 25%, and 71%, respectively. This averages out to a 39% success rate overall.

Of all 5 games, the third game is the only one to not have a higher success rate for instances with goaltender assistance than without. For context, this was the Sep. 27 match against Winnipeg in which the Jets played their starting roster against what was essentially a Belleville squad, including Kevin Mandolese, who did not look prepared for NHL pace, between the pipes for the second half.

Of the 4 games in which the success rate improved with goaltender assistance, 3 of them improved by 20 - 25%. For context, the second match, with its improvement of 80%, featured the second-fewest instances of the goaltender playing the puck with 5, exactly half the number of instances in the same game where the goaltender did not touch the puck, with 10.

Of course, any conclusions to be drawn from these games are moot, as it is the pre-season. I look forward to seeing how these numbers will evolve now the roster is finalized and the players are dialed-in for regular season matches. In particular, I am excited to see how the numbers will look without the volatility of such a small sample size.

As we enter the season proper, do you have any suggestions on how the system could be improved? Do you see any major flaws in how I am tracking this? Be sure to let me know in the comments, as I will not be making changes to the system part of the way into the season.

مع السلامة

Scheherazade شھرزاد

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