Blackhawks Zone Entries & Shot Generation In The Playoffs

Jonathan Daniel

As some of you know, I have been tracking the Chicago Blackhawks zone entries and did so during the Playoffs. This requires not only watching the games, but noting events, time of the game, players and other information every time the team and their opponent attempt to enter the offensive zone. The information below is for 5 on 5 play only. I do track zone entries for the power play and penalty kill but I will do a separate post on those.  Things like dumping the puck in so that all of the players can change are not included, because they are not the start of an offensive attack.

This information helps us identify how the team plays in the neutral zone. It has been shown time and again that carrying the puck into the offensive zone leads to more shots. As shots increase, so do the team's opportunities to score. This tracking allows us to determine which players carry the puck into the zone more frequently and generate shots. Using this information we can also analyze line combinations among other things.

I've broken this information down by player, lines, games, series and also take a look at the overall picture. First, I've broken down each game by line. The lines for each game were determined by TOI (Time On Ice) together as opposed to what the lineup was to begin the game. Joel Quenneville is a big fan of changing lines when he thinks something is not working or when trying to get a particular matchup on the ice. Also, please note that the charts that break down zone entries by line were created by adding each linemate's entries together. So for example, in the first game of the series against the Blues, the first line included Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Kris Versteeg. I added their controlled entries and dump & chase entries together. At some point during that game, Patrick Kane likely took a shift on the first line for Kris Versteeg. If Kane had a controlled zone entry or dump in during that shift, it will show up on the chart for the line he spent the most time on during the game. The point of these game charts are to help us get an idea about how the lines performed together and who was driving the team's offensive attack, so I do not feel any such discrepancy will have much of an affect on the overall impression to be taken from the information. Please click on the graphs to see a larger image.

BLACKHAWKS VS BLUES

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 1

30161

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BRANDON SAAD 17/21

JONATHAN TOEWS 23/21

KRIS VERSTEEG 17/21

PATRICK SHARP 26/22

MICHAL HANDZUS 19/23

MARIAN HOSSA 22/29

BRYAN BICKELL 16/15

ANDREW SHAW 17/14

PATRICK KANE 18/16

BRANDON BOLLIG 9/20

MARCUS KRUGER 10/18

BEN SMITH 11/17

Chi_stl_game_1_medium

GAME 1

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(3OT)

CHI

60

10

66

21

43.6

3

STL

91

26

48

16

56.4

4

During Game 1, the 1st and 3rd lines carried the puck in more than the others. The 2nd line still had more carry ins than dump ins. The 4th line used the dump and chase approach more often than starting an offensive attack by carrying the puck into the zone. Obviously, the matchups affect how these lines operate when starting an offensive attack, so it is important to keep that in mind. Chicago carried the puck in on 52.4% of their zone entries while St. Louis carried it in on just 34.5% of theirs.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 2

30162

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 13/4

TOEWS 17/5

SAAD 13/8

SHARP 15/14

HANDZUS 7/16

HOSSA 15/11

VERSTEEG 9/6

SHAW 9/8

KANE 12/9

BOLLIG 3/3

KRUGER 8/4

SMITH 8/5

Chi_stl_game_2_medium

GAME 2

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(OT)

CHI

59

5

38

23

57.6

3

STL

58

5

27

12

42.4

4

The matchups in Game 2 led to the 2nd and 3rd lines having more freedom to carry the puck into the zone. The 1st line had to go to the dump and chase due to coverage and as you can see, the Blackhawks did not generate many shots from those type of attacks. They also did a nice job of thwarting the Blues' dump and chase efforts keeping their normally productive attack to a minimum.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 3

30163

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 14/13

TOEWS 13/13

KANE 15/14

SHARP 9/14

HANDZUS 5/12

HOSSA 8/18

SAAD 10/17

SHAW 9/20

VERSTEEG 6/18

BOLLIG 4/3

KRUGER 4/7

SMITH 8/7

Chi_stl_game_3_medium

GAME 3

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

28

6

37

16

40.4

2

STL

39

9

34

20

59.6

0

Don't be confused by what would appear to be the Blues dominating a game they lost. Score Effects greatly influence these 5 on 5 numbers because the Blues launched a nice attack once they were down in this game. Goaltending was the key in the third period.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 4

30164

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 23/19

TOEWS 24/19

KANE 24/13

SHARP 23/14

HANDZUS 9/6

SMITH 20/7

HOSSA 20/16

SAAD 17/13

SHAW 17/16

VERSTEEG 9/8

BOLLIG 8/3

KRUGER 13/5

SMITH 20/7

Chi_stl_game_4_medium

GAME 4

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(OT)

CHI

36

7

58

30

58.8

4

STL

46

0

45

24

41.2

3

Nearly all of the 2nd line's carry ins came once Ben Smith was moved to their center.  Most of the dump ins from this line came during the beginning of the game with Michal

Handzus as the center. The impressive thing about this game is that the Blackhawks were able to prevent any Fenwick shot attempts by the Blues when they dumped the puck into the zone.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 5

30165

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 13/7

TOEWS 18/13

HOSSA 19/17

SHARP 10/16

SMITH 17/21

KANE 16/17

SAAD 17/16

KRUGER 11/13

SHAW 14/11

BOLLIG 3/4

HANDZUS 3/10

VERSTEEG 9/10

Chi_stl_game_5_medium

GAME 5

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(OT)

CHI

34

5

62

23

48.5

3

STL

49

7

42

21

51.5

2

Chicago carried the puck into the zone a whopping 65% of the time in this game. The change in the lines allowed all of the lines more flexibility during the offensive attack with the 4th line being a notable exception. The Blues only carried the puck in 46% of the time but were more effective in generating shots on these entries than the Blackhawks were.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS ST. LOUIS BLUES

GAME 6

30166

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 11/12

TOEWS 11/18

HOSSA 10/19

SHARP 10/13

SMITH 10/9

KANE 12/9

SAAD 14/12

KRUGER 13/15

SHAW 14/12

BOLLIG 1/3

HANDZUS 1/10

NORDSTROM 1/3

Chi_stl_game_6_medium

GAME 6

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

26

3

34

19

43.9

5

STL

32

9

26

16

56.1

1

The 4th line saw very little action in this game as you can tell by not only their single zone entry but also from their Corsi numbers in the table. The trend of favoring controlled entries continued for the Blackhawks in this game as well as their ineffectiveness at generating shots from dump and chase entries.

Chi_stl_dmen_medium

This graph shows the defensemen over the course of the series. It is important to remember that the style of offense used by the Blackhawks prizes defensemen clearing the defensive zone and activating the offense by passing to the forwards in the neutral zone. This will help us understand why the defensemen have such low entry rates particularly when viewed in conjunction with a defenseman dumping the puck into the zone being an option of last resort for the Blackhawks. One thing I noticed with Sheldon Brookbank is that he is not particularly accurate with his stretch pass attempts. This frequently led to icing the puck. He also seemed a bit rushed to dump the puck into the zone for the forwards to dig out when pressured in the neutral zone. The Entries Per 60 noted in this graph include both controlled and uncontrolled zone entries and thus he ends up in the lead in this category. While filling in for Brent Seabrook while he was suspended, Brookbank played with Duncan Keith quite a bit so he also benefited from having offensively gifted forwards on the ice. There was a noticeable change to the offensive format coming out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone due to having Seabrook out so it is interesting to see it reflected in the numbers as well.

Chi_stl_fwds_medium

Here we have the forwards' performance over the series at 5v5. Controlled Entry Percentage reflects that player's carry ins divided by his total zone entries (carry ins + dump ins). Fenwick Per 60 reflects the unblocked shot attempts generated by that player's zone entry. So, we see that during this series, Brandon Bollig had the lowest CE% and also the lowest F/60 rate. Brandon Saad had the highest shot generation rate of all of the forwards followed by Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews just edged out Saad in CE% over the series.

Chi_stl_close_medium

This graph has Controlled Entry % and Shot Generation (Fenwick) for all of the players during the series while skating at 5v5 with the Score Close. The score of a game is considered close when the difference is 1 goal or less in the first and second periods and when the game is tied in the third period and overtime. Here we see that Brandon Saad not only led the team in CE% (85%) but also in shots generated. Toews closely trailed Saad in CE% finishing with 81% controlled zone entries at 5v5 Score Close.

On the series, the Blackhawks claimed 59% of the controlled entries to the Blues 41%. 30% of  the Blues attempts to carry the puck into the zone resulted in failed entries, meaning they either turned the puck over, went offside or had to regroup and try again to get into the zone. Only 14% of the Blackhawks attempts to carry the puck into the zone resulted in failed entries. The Blackhawks generated shots at a rate of 22.5 per 60 from controlled entries, while the Blues finished at a rate of 18.6. The Blues were better at generating shots from dump and chase entries as evidenced by their rate of 9.7 shots per 60 as opposed to the Blackhawks rate of 6.0 shots per 60.

BLACKHAWKS VS WILD

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 1

30231

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 11/12

TOEWS 11/18

HOSSA 10/19

SHARP 10/13

SMITH 10/9

KANE 12/9

SAAD 14/12

KRUGER 13/15

SHAW 14/12

BOLLIG 1/3

HANDZUS 1/10

NORDSTROM 1/3

Chi_min_game_1_medium

GAME 1

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

27

5

42

14

36.5

5

MIN

32

7

36

24

63.5

2

Score Effects were a big driver of the Wild's numbers in this game. They were effective at producing shots from their controlled entries despite the Blackhawks having the higher number of carry ins throughout the game.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 2

30232

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 14/9

TOEWS 14/5

HOSSA 15/11

SHARP 11/16

SMITH 10/24

KANE 13/16

SAAD 12/13

KRUGER 13/9

NORDSTROM 11/11

MORIN 2/2

HANDZUS 3/6

VERSTEEG 4/6

Chi_min_game_2_medium

GAME 2

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

41

9

40

19

60.0

4

MIN

47

8

41

10

40.0

1

Game 2 was a particularly low event game from a Fenwick standpoint especially in light of the number of zone entries for each team. Given the amount of time the 4th line was on the ice, their dump in to carry in ratio was not very good. The effects of Minnesota's scheme to clog the neutral zone is also apparent in the team wide dump in/carry in ratio for the Blackhawks.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 3

30233

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 18/9

TOEWS 19/13

HOSSA 17/12

SHARP 16/11

SMITH 12/11

KANE 17/13

SAAD 8/7

KRUGER 9/8

NORDSTROM 7/7

BOLLIG 3/5

HANDZUS 5/6

VERSTEEG 4/3

Chi_min_game_3_medium

GAME 3

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

31

2

48

23

59.3

0

MIN

37

7

34

11

40.7

4

Chicago put on their most aggressive offensive push in this game but the puck simply would not go in. It was Ilya Bryzgalov's night. It is also interesting to note that the Blackhawks were only able to generate 2 Fenwick events off of 31 dump ins in this game.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 4

30234

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 8/19

TOEWS 8/21

KANE 19/17

SHARP 7/9

HANDZUS 6/9

HOSSA 8/9

SAAD 16/12

KRUGER 17/9

SMITH 0/13

BOLLIG 2/5

NORDSTROM 2/10

MORIN 6/6

Chi_min_game_4_medium

GAME 4

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

36

4

40

16

38.2

2

MIN

33

7

41

21

61.8

4

There isn't much to say about this game for the Blackhawks other than the fact that it was terrible. The first and second lines, despite high carry in rates were not able to generate much of anything in terms of shots. Kane and Smith were switched up for part of the game which allowed Saad and Kruger to gain some ground in shots production.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 5

30235

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

SHARP  15/10

TOEWS 19/6

HOSSA 18/9

BICKELL 11/5

HANDZUS 13/15

KANE 11/13

SAAD 12/9

REGIN 7/3

VERSTEEG 8/3

NORDSTROM 5/9

KRUGER 6/10

SMITH 6/10

Chi_min_game_5_medium

GAME 5

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

39

8

42

18

50.0

2

MIN

40

7

40

16

50.0

1

The 1st and 3rd lines had very nice performances in this game. The 2nd line experiment produced dump and chase efforts for most of the game which is not the Blackhawks strong suit; however, it did work better in this game than in nearly all of the others.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS MINNESOTA WILD

GAME 6

30236

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

SHARP 18/18

TOEWS 18/19

HOSSA 17/18

BICKELL 13/15

HANDZUS 9/16

KANE 19/19

SAAD 7/15

REGIN 9/12

VERSTEEG 7/16

NORDSTROM 5/3

KRUGER 10/12

SMITH 9/14

Chi_min_game_6_medium

GAME 6

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

OT

CHI

49

13

48

12

41.1

2

MIN

41

13

59

21

58.9

1

The matchups on Minnesota's home ice allowed for their neutral zone scheme to again force the Blackhawks to dump the puck into the zone more often than usual. The lines were changed quite often to combat this but shot generation for the Blackhawks was difficult. Fortunately, it all worked out for the best and the Blackhawks were able to win in overtime and move on to the Western Conference Final.

Chi_min_dmen_medium

Because of the way Minnesota plays in the neutral zone, the Blackhawks were forced to dump the puck in more often. This also increased the defensemen's involvement in the offensive zone entries which we see reflected in the chart above. Michael Rozsival had the highest shot generation rate for the defensemen followed by Nick Leddy and Brent Seabrook. Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy led the defensemen in Entries per 60.

Chi_min_fwds_medium

Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa led the Blackhawks forwards in shot generation from their zone entries over the series. Kane also led in Controlled Entry % followed by Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. Brandon Bollig again had the lowest CE% but did manage to generate some shots in his very small amount of ice time during the series. Jeremy Morin (11) is a bit of an outlier on this chart. This is mainly due to the fact that he only played about 12 minutes at 5v5 over the series.

Chi_min_close_medium

At 5v5 with the Score close, Marian Hossa led the way in shot production folled by Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. Brandon Saad led the team in CE% at Score Close during this series, just as he did during the St. Louis series.

BLACKHAWKS VS KINGS

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 1

30321

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 15/10

TOEWS 17/14

HOSSA14/14

SHARP 7/15

SAAD

HANDZUS 6/13

KANE 10/13

SHARP

SAAD 7/10

REGIN 6/12

VERSTEEG 7/11

BOLLIG 6/9

KRUGER 7/11

SMITH 6/10

Chi_lak_game_1_medium

GAME 1

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

33

2

37

14

44.2

3

LAK

38

10

44

15

55.8

1

The first game of the Western Conference Final was a story of the 1st line for the Blackhawks running the show. The other lines simply could not generate much in the way of shots and relied upon dumping the puck in far too often. As you have seen, the Blackhawks are not particularly effective at generating shots from dump and chase zone entries. All in all, the Kings did a very nice job in this game of frustrating most of Chicago's offensive production.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 2

30322

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 10/7

TOEWS 13/9

HOSSA 12/8

SAAD 13/4

HANDZUS 7/7

KANE 12/8

SHARP 7/16

REGIN 5/16

VERSTEEG 3/15

BOLLIG 5/6

KRUGER 7/5

SMITH 11/6

Chi_lak_game_2_medium

GAME 2

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

32

3

39

17

45.8

2

LAK

36

8

35

14

54.2

6

Again, the 1st line led the charge in terms of zone entries and shot generation in this game. The 2nd line struggled greatly and it was all too apparent that the lack of depth at center was hurting the team. Corey Crawford did not have one of his best games and the Kings simply outplayed the Blackhawks.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 3

30323

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 16/6

TOEWS 18/11

HOSSA 19/6

SHARP 7/16

HANDZUS 5/12

KANE 8/18

SAAD 11/7

SHAW 8/7

VERSTEEG 8/6

BOLLIG 6/7

KRUGER 10/8

SMITH 7/11

Chi_lak_game_3_medium

GAME 3

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

29

14

39

16

49.2

3

LAK

37

9

28

15

50.8

4

There are a few things that stand out about this game other than the fact that the Blackhawks played much better than they had in the previous game. First, the 1st line simply dominated the Kings first line centered by Anze Kopitar. Second, the 3rd line of Saad, Shaw and Versteeg did not dump the puck into the zone to start their attack at 5v5. Shaw was just getting back into the lineup after leaving the first game against Minnesota with a knee injury but his presence in regard to neutral zone play was certainly felt. He is usually a strong neutral zone player particularly for what is concisered at bottom 6 forward so having him back helped open up some space for Brandon Saad to go to work. Third, Chicago did a very nice job generating shots off of dump and chase entries in this game. They ended up losing, but it was obvious that they were not out of it yet.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 4

30324

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 17/14

TOEWS 16/14

KANE 19/13

SHARP 11/6

REGIN 9/11

KRUGER

HOSSA 14/8

SAAD 18/9

SHAW 14/9

SMITH 15/5

KRUGER 11/4

HANDZUS 3/2

VERSTEEG 9/7

Chi_lak_game_4_a_medium

GAME 4

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

33

10

37

21

58.3

2

LAK

31

9

29

11

41.7

5

Chicago pushed the offensive attack after falling behind in this game. The 1st line struggled a bit more than they had previously against the Kings 1st line but still ended up on the right side of the possession numbers. The 3rd line again did quite well in terms of possession but were forced to dump the puck in a bit more. The team as a whole did well in generating shots from the dump and chase zone entries and also on controlled entries.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 5

30325

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 25/16

TOEWS 24/17

HOSSA 23/17

SAAD 26/15

SHAW 23/14

KANE 28/16

SHARP 13/17

KRUGER 15/22

SMITH 13/17

BOLLIG 2/9

HANDZUS 7/15

VERSTEEG 5/11

Chi_lak_game_5_medium

GAME 5

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(2OT)

CHI

36

7

76

28

50.0

5

LAK

44

6

60

26

50.0

4

Facing elimination, the Blackhawks iced a new 2nd line. Saad, Shaw and Kane were simply dominant in this game not only in controlled zone entries but in shot generation as a whole. The 1st line also played very well. The bottom 2 lines struggled quite a bit and Bollig and Versteeg were benched for much of the game.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 6

30326

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 8/16

TOEWS 10/19

HOSSA 9/22

SAAD 16/17

SHAW 18/16

KANE 21/18

SHARP 14/11

KRUGER 8/13

SMITH 9/13

BOLLIG 1/9

HANDZUS 5/10

BROOKBANK 2/7


Chi_lak_game_6_medium

GAME 6

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

CHI

35

8

46

21

44.1

4

LAK

41

7

39

26

55.9

3

The Blackhawks survived to play another game, but this story was simply about the amazing play of the 2nd line. This combination of players worked extremely well again. It was a good thing it did because the 1st line had their hands full with the Kings 1st line again. Chicago continued to carry the puck into the zone and also forced the Kings to dump the puck in a bit more. This game was essentially played with three lines even more so than the past few had been particularly with the resurrection of the Sheldon Brookbank as a forward experiment.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

VS LOS ANGELES KINGS

GAME 7

30327

LEFT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

CENTER

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

RIGHT WING

(Corsi For/Corsi Against 5v5)

BICKELL 16/20

TOEWS 15/16

HOSSA 14/20

SAAD 16/9

SHAW 17/8

KANE 16/8

SHARP 12/28

KRUGER 12/32

SMITH 15/30

BOLLIG 0/6

HANDZUS 2/9

VERSTEEG 0/6


Chi_lak_game_7_medium

GAME 7

DUMP INS

SHOTS (FENWICK)

CONTROLLED ENTRIES

SHOTS (FENWICK)

FF%

5v5

SCORE

(OT)

CHI

38

4

45

25

43.8

4

LAK

44

9

40

30

56.2

5

The real story of this game will likely be lost in the flukey goal that ended the series, but it shouldn't be. The Blackhawks iced 3 lines resulting in heavy 5v5 ice time for the top three lines. The 1st line struggled a bit and ended up on the wrong end of the possession numbers. The 3rd line was absolutely destroyed in terms of possession along with the completely ineffective and often benched 4th line. The 2nd line of Saad, Shaw and Kane were the only ones to end up with positive possession numbers. They entered the offensive zone with the puck on their sticks at a terrific rate and the Kings looked powerless to stop them. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, success in the playoffs does not often come upon the backs of one forward line and their season was over.

Chi_lak_dmen_medium

During the series with the Kings, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook led the defensemen in Entries per 60 and shot generation rates.

Chi_lak_fwds_medium

Peter Regin led the fowards in Controlled Entry % but it should be noted that he had significantly less ice time than the others and did not play in all of the games. Jonathan Toews led the regular forwards in CE% followed closely by Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa. Saad led all forwards in shot generation at 5v5.

Chi_lak_close_medium

With the Score Close at 5 on 5, Saad again led the Blackhawks in terms of generating shots.

BLACKHAWKS PLAYOFFS - OVERALL

I've included some tables showing how the players ranked on the team for their performance in certain categories during the entirety of the playoffs.

RANK

PLAYER

CONTROLLED ENTRIES - 5V5

1

KANE

114

2

SAAD

99

3

SHARP

82

4

TOEWS

77

4

BICKELL

77

6

HOSSA

76

7

SMITH

49

8

VERSTEEG

38

9

KRUGER

34

10

SHAW

32

11

LEDDY

23

RANK

PLAYER

CONTROLLED ENTRIES - SCORE CLOSE

1

KANE

42

2

SAAD

37

3

SHARP

32

4

TOEWS

27

4

HOSSA

27

6

BICKELL

20

7

KRUGER

11

7

SHAW

11

7

LEDDY

11

RANK

PLAYER

FENWICK GENERATED BY CONTROLLED ENTRIES

1

KANE

56

2

HOSSA

51

3

SAAD

44

4

TOEWS

35

5

SHARP

31

6

BICKELL

30

7

SMITH

22

8

KRUGER

21

RANK

PLAYER

FENWICK GENERATED BY DUMP IN

1

SMITH

12

2

BICKELL

11

2

ODUYA

11

4

SEABROOK

10

5

HJALMARSSON

9

5

SAAD

9

5

KANE

9

RANK

PLAYER

CONTROLLED ENTRY % - 5v5

TIME ON ICE

5v5

1

SAAD

77

265.6

1

HOSSA

77

273.2

3

TOEWS

76

289.2

4

KANE

72

310.9

5

SHARP

65

275.70

6

REGIN

64

54.7

6

NORDSTROM

64

58.9

8

SMITH

62

235.2

9

BICKELL

59

259.8

9

SHAW

59

155.0

11

VERSTEEG

55

152.1

12

HANDZUS

54

174.4

13

KRUGER

52

215.2

14

LEDDY

49

228.8

15

MORIN

43

12.60

16

ROZSIVAL

36

250.2

17

KEITH

23

366.2

18

BOLLIG

22

88.5

19

ODUYA

16

336.2

20

HJALMARSSON

16

343.9

21

BROOKBANK

8

97.9

22

SEABROOK

6

265.6

A graph of Controlled Zone Entry % and 5 on 5 Time On Ice for all players to appear in a playoff game for the Blackhawks this season is below.

Chi_playoff_entry___toi_team_medium

This graph shows the same but only for players with a CE% of at least 30%. Notice that Nick Leddy continues to creep up into areas otherwise occupied soley by forwards.

Chi_playoff_entry___over_30_toi_medium

This graph shows the total entry rate (controlled and dump and chase) along with the shot (Fenwick) generation rate for all Blackhawks forwards to play at least 100 minutes at 5 on 5 during the playoffs. Prior to being injured, Andrew Shaw was on track to have a better CE% and Entries per 60 rate than he ended up with.

Chi_playoff_entry_rates_fwds_100_toi_medium

We can see from the chart above that Hossa, Kane and Saad had the highest rates of shot generation followed by Bryan Bickell and others.

Chi_v_opp_playoffs_carry_ins_shots_medium

The shots referenced in the graph above are Fenwick events generated from zone entries only.

On the whole, the Blackhawks carried the puck into the offensive zone 56% of the time as opposed to dumping it in. Their opponents carried the puck in 48% of the time. Chicago generated 0.46 shots (Fenwick events = missed shots & SOG) per carry in while dumping the puck into the zone resulted in 0.21 shots per entry.

I've done some player specific graphs regarding controlled zone entries and shot generation but given the length of this post, I've decided to include those in the Player Report Cards we are doing as the summer goes on.

Special thanks to Eric Tulsky (@BSH_EricT on Twitter) from Broad Street Hockey for teaching me how to track zone entries and for creating the macros/spreadsheets I use to do so. Also, thanks to www.extraskater.com for all of the hard work providing Corsi/Fenwick and other data all season. The possession data in this post was collected from that terrific site.

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