Looking At Flames Zone Entries Through Ten Games

Since last season we’ve been tracking zone entries here at FlamesNation. The idea is that there’s a ton of statistics that measure how often hockey players have the puck, but introduction of zone entry data can be combined with things Corsi or Scoring Chance percentages and Zone Start data to provide some insights into how players are used, who they play against, where they get the puck and what they do with it once they have it.

I just finished up the first 10 games of data, so let’s take a look? Before we dive in, the usual disclaimers about the data should apply: it’s collected by a person, so there are some subjectiveness in the data, and since it’s been just 10 games, sample sizes are small so take everything with a grain of salt.

FORWARDS

(From highest carry-in percentage to lowest)

  • Johnny Gaudreau – 71.74%
  • Sean Monahan – 62.86%
  • Mikael Backlund – 58.93%
  • Sam Bennett – 57.45%
  • Josh Jooris – 55.32%
  • Michael Frolik – 50.00%
  • Mason Raymond – 46.15%
  • Matt Stajan – 42.50%
  • Joe Colborne – 40.00%
  • Derek Grant – 40.00%
  • Jiri Hudler – 39.34%
  • Brandon Bollig – 35.14%
  • Micheal Ferland – 32.43%
  • David Jones – 32.00%
  • Lance Bouma – 31.25%
  • Markus Granlund – 0%

For some comparisons here: Gaudreau’s carry-in rate was 66% last season, Monahan was about 52% and Hudler was 39%. All of them are about where they were last season. Backlund – fully healthy, knock on wood – is up a bit from last year’s 52%. Bollig is way, way up from his 22% last season and Jooris is way up from his 41% last season. It’s early, but the majority of the regular forwards returning from last season are at the same level or better than last season in terms of their carry-in rates.

    DEFENDERS

    (From highest carry-in percentage to lowest)

    • T.J. Brodie – 33.33%
    • Dennis Wideman – 28.30%
    • Dougie Hamilton – 24.53%
    • Kris Russell – 20.37%
    • Mark Giordano – 18.46%
    • Brett Kulak – 18.18%
    • Deryk Engelland – 13.89%
    • Ladislav Smid – 0%

    Brodie’s number represents a single game and can be ignored. Oddly, the majority of the defenders are where they were last season percentage wise – give or take maybe 5% – but I gotta admit it seems really weird that Brett Kulak and Mark Giordano have the same tendency here. Smid had four carry-ins all of last season and it took him until the 21st game of the season to get his first. Given his placement as the seventh guy on the depth chart, he may be waiting for awhile this season.

      LEADERS

      Most of these numbers are, for now, products of ice time. In the next check-in, there will probably be a lot more of a variance and the numbers will mean more. For now, here’s a quick summary of the leaders of a few different types of zone entries.

      Most Entries of Any/All Kinds:

      Johnny Gaudreau (92), Mark Giordano (65), Jiri Hudler (61)

      Most Carry-In Entries:

      Johnny Gaudreau (66), Sean Monahan (44), Mikael Backlund (33)

      Most Dump-and-Chase Entries:

      Dougie Hamilton (28), Kris Russell (27), Mark Giordano (27)

      Most Tip-In Entries:

      David Jones (15), Jiri Hudler (14), five tied (5)

      Most Missed Entries: (e.g., errant passes)

      Mark Giordano (10), Dennis Wideman (7), Dougie Hamilton (7)

      • First Name Unidentified

        I do believe they have addressed possession issues from last season, to some extent. They are playing better hockey but the bounces are going against them. This will end as they can’t continue to get bad percentages and bad luck.

        Gaudreau, Brodie, Bennett are gods! I want to see these three on the ice all the time. All the time.

      • OKG

        Good stuff. The guys that really stand out as needing more carry-ins would be

        Ferland
        Colborne
        Granlund

        Hoping it’s just small sample size because these are three guys that should be able to make better zone entries against middle competition with their puck skills.

      • Good stuff Ryan.

        I just wanted to say in regards to David Jones, it could be just me, but he seems to be one of the most effective players on the team at the dump and chase. When he dumps it in he seems to be able to recover it quite a bit because of his size and quick stick.

        I could be wrong though.

        • OKG

          Jones is really good at chipping it off the side wall and then winning the foot race, instead of getting the puck deep he keeps it within two strides of himself.

      • HockeyRulz

        Nice article, I like those stats.. another impressive stat under Johnny Hockey’s resume. That kid is money all day.

        I wish I could see those stats on all the major hockey players which like to carry the puck in. It would be a nice comparison. Anyone aware of a site which holds those stats?

        nice read.

        • Hudler’s numbers on Pike’s tracking last season were also lower than presumed. He can drive play but he isn’t the best option to carry the puck into the zone either.

          Edit: I should look over Corey Sznajder’s compiled work as well. I wouldn’t be shocked if Hudler had similar numbers.

        • Cfan in Vic

          It’s prudent to question everything about the team. That said, getting rid of Hartley right now would be on the list of trigger happy, knee jerk reactions that they should avoid.