The following stats were tracked during manually during the game. The raw totals for the tracking stats and the glossary are at the end. The full post-game recap was written by Kjell Iverson.
At some point I’ll write up a detailed description of each category and my specific rules for each. Once I do, I will provide a link to it in this summary. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments or on Twitter (@wheatnoil).
I’ve highlighted some of the better (blue) and worse (red) performances in each category and there’s a summary of my overall take on the defencemen at the end. All time on ice stats are from www.naturalstattrick.com .
Opponent: New York Islanders
Score: 4-3 Good Guys in a McDavidless Shootout!
I wouldn’t read too much into Sekera’s number here. He strangely only had one Zone Exit all game, which may be a first for him. Benning did make some nice, safe zone exit plays. Nurse and Klefbom, though, really carried the load, with Nurse carrying the puck out 5 of his 7 controlled zone exits. Actually, Nurse’s only two uncontrolled exits happened with less than two minutes left, including an icing. Bad timing for sure, but a solid puck movement game aside from that.
Klefbom and Larsson. Man. You two beautiful Swedish defencemen.
I wouldn’t worry much about Nurse’s number here. Firstly, these are all small numbers and so a single play skews things quite a bit. Nurse is typically above 50%.
Defensive Zone Passing
Klefbom is starting be at the top of the Touches/60 chart on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Gryba and Benning are consistently on the lower end. Now, Benning did a good job moving the puck out when he did get it… he just didn’t touch the puck often. In fact, I think most of the time Benning got the puck was when Sekera passed it to him, as opposed to recovering it on his own. Further, he turned the puck over the most among all the D. Gryba, to his credit, rarely turned the puck over in the defensive zone, which is pretty consistent for him. Sekera actually had a perfect game for turnovers going until the 3rd period. Finally, Klefbom… again. Leading in Touches/60, fewest defensive zone turnovers/60. Dreamy.
General: The Oilers defence crew as a whole contributed directly to 24 controlled zone exits, with 50% of them leading to controlled zone entries and only one of them resulting in the puck heading back into their own zone (and that was off an intentional offside that led to an Oiler own-zone faceoff). As a group, they contributed to only 11 uncontrolled zone exits, 70% of which resulted in the Islanders getting the puck back into the Oiler zone.
Klefbom / Larsson: Larsson struggled a bit with the zone exits today, but defensively was fantastic. Klefbom was great in all facets.
Sekera / Benning: The 3rd pairing by time on ice, I was left a little unimpressed by Benning. He did get two assists, but in the defensive zone he struggled with positioning at times. He rarely got the puck back from the opposition and was mostly relying on Sekera to do most of the work to my eye. He did make the safe play when it was available.
Nurse / Gryba: The number 1 pairing by 5×5 ice-time with a bullet. They crushed the shot attempt numbers too. This pairing relied on Nurse to get the puck out, but Gryba did a solid job moving the puck up to the forwards to get things headed in the right direction and rarely made defensive zone mistakes. Many have pointed out to me that, while it’s great that Nurse carries the puck out, he often gets it up to the red line and just dumps it in. While that’s true, he’s been getting better in that regards. Of his 5 carry-outs this game, 3 of them resulted in controlled zone entries into the zone, one was uncontrolled, and the last was an odd play where Eberle touched the puck offside and it was deemed intentional, resulting in a defensive zone faceoff. Nurse seems to be getting better at making things happen when he rushes the puck up.
Raw Total Tracking Stats:
(click to enlarge)
Controlled Zone Exit: Getting the puck out of the zone maintaining possession
Carry: Skating the puck out of the zone, the defenceman keeps possession himself
Pass: Passing the puck out of the zone, the team maintains possession
Uncontrolled Zone Exit: Getting the puck out of the zone but losing possession to the other team
Dump: No clear target when getting the puck out
Missed Pass: Appears to have a clear target but pass is not complete
Times Targeted: Number of times a defenceman was specifically targeted by the opposing player on a zone entry against
Denied Entry: Defenceman prevents the opposing team from entering the zone, forcing them to regroup or causing them to lose possession in the neutral zone
Controlled Entry Against: Opposing team is able to enter the zone with possession of the puck (maintained for at least one second)
Dump In Against: Opposing team is gets the puck into the zone but without possession of the puck
Untargeted: Controlled and Uncontrolled Entries against where either a defenceman was not the primary player targeted on entry OR an odd man rush not directly caused by one of the defencemen
Defensive Zone Passing
Total Touches: Number of the times the defenceman clearly has the puck on his stick in the defensive zone
To D-Partner: Successful defensive zone pass to another defenceman within the defensive zone
To Forward: Successful defensive zone pass to a forward within the defensive zone
Turnover: Other team gains possession of the puck after the defenceman clearly had possession of it
Total: Number of times the defenceman is the closest to the puck off of an uncontrolled entry to the zone
Successful: Defenceman retrieves the puck and successfully either gets it out of the zone or passes it a teammate, retaining possession
Failed: Defenceman either turns the puck over after retrieving it or the other team gets possession off the uncontrolled entry