Watching the Game: A Quick Note From Our Podcast With Corey Sznajder

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Adam Stringham

Photo Credit: Adam Stringham

You can donate to Corey's project here

The Talk The Red podcast was fortunate enough to have Corey Sznajder and Peter Hassett from Russian Machine Never Breaks join us on 8/21 . Corey is an advanced stats advocate that is in the midst of a project to track every zone entry from every NHL game from last season, you can get a good overview of the project by reading Scott Cullen's piece that is on TSN. Any of you that are familiar with my work know that I am a big fan of advanced statistics but I understand that they are not for everyone. However a project like Corey is putting together has a tremendous amount of value. Zone entries appear likely to be a big part of hockey analytics going forward, so here are a few short and sweet takeaways from the zone entries work that has been done so far.  

General "Watch the Game"-Takeaways*:

  1. Coaches and players will tell you that puck possession is important (I am not talking about Corsi or Fenwick...well maybe a little bit); and the best way to retain puck possession is to carry the puck through the neutral zone and limit your opponents ability to do so (Eric Tulsky).
  2. Dumping the puck leads to less goals for and does not appear to lead to less goals against.   
  3. Passing the puck to a teammate, which is not the same as dumping the puck, is just as valuable as carrying the puck into the offensive zone. 
  4. The potential benefits of a controlled entry outweigh the potential risks of a failed entry (Eric Tulsky).  

Washington Capitals Specific "Watch the Game"- Takeaways:

  1. Alexander Ovechkin is a great player, especially in regards to how he enters the offensive zone. 
  2. A large portion of the Capitals' problems from last season can be attributed to their inability to limit their opposition from entering the offensive zone with control. During the podcast Corey let us know that the Capitals were the worst team in the league in that regard. 

*The links are heavy on the stats content

More statistically heavy information on Capitals' zone entries can be found on both Talk The Red and Japers' Rink. 

Thanks for reading- feel free to give me a shout on Twitter @Stringhama 

Posted in: Washington Capitals
next up:

Talk the Red Podcast - 8/21/2014

August 23, 2014

On This Episode: Peter Hassett of RMNB comes in studio, Corey Sznajder (@shutdownline) calls in to talk about his current project, and the state of analytics in the NHL


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