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Hockey Analytics

Passes and Shooting Percentage

by Gus Katsaros
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Yes, once again we’re dipping into analysis based around data from the passing project, highlighting some of its power and capability, I decided to delve into looking at individual shooting percentage for some players, limited to enough of a sample of games tracked for helpful analysis. It’s no secret that aside from actual RFID data or unless some tracking company makes their proprietary data available, I think this passing project offers a great leap in game analysis.

 

Project founder Ryan Stimson ventured into the debate on shot quality and introducing a passing metric called Passing Shot Contribution (PSC). I highly recommend that piece to everyone.

 

Ryan Stimson and crew (with their second data release), tracked a higher volume of Washington and Chicago games, which fortunately contain two examples in Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin, we’ll look at shortly. Passing has a great effect to enhance scoring.

 

Zone isolation for three passes preceding a shot attempt can track play origins and for this I wanted to concentrate only on passes strictly in the offensive zone. I filtered the primary assist (A1) zone to include only the offensive zone and disregarding two passes (if available) leading up to the A1. Players can get sprung with neutral and defensive zone passes and while vital to have the stretch game through the neutral zone (Patrick Kane likes getting passes from defensemen and run the neutral zone) but when assessing the effect passes have on shots, I think of play creativity closer to the opposition goal being more influential to scoring chances than a stretch pass and individual effort. Passing across the ‘Royal Road’ and outside passing to create inside shooting lanes can be filtered as well, but there aren’t enough games tracked to offer definitively varying or patterned sequences.

 

From Stimson’s post, he illustrated the effect of passing on shooting percentage by sequence:

 

Non-Passes – 7.2%

Overall Passing – 8.0%

Multiple Passes – 9.6%

 

Forcing movement on the defensive team and goaltender has a positive effect on potential scoring chances. The Capitals and Blackhawks offer Kane and Ovechkin with a high number of tracked games (27 and 28 respectively) relative to project average, while Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn (Dallas has 18 games tracked) offers a good blend to do some minor testing.

 

Kane, Ovechkin and Seguin scored at a healthy clip when the primary pass was through the offensive zone. Goals scored for reasons that can’t be accounted for with a primary pass (as captured by the project data), or generated through the neutral or defensive zone.

 

Shots generated by a primary pass in the offensive zone earned individual shooting percentages greater than 20%.

 

In games where players scored without the benefit of the primary pass from the offensive zone (only games that were tracked are incorporated here, non-tracked games have been omitted), or missing entirely (as an entry in the tracking project, signifying it wasn’t a passing event) the shooting percentage tapers, to less than 10%. Randomness (and sample size) take effect here, but this isn’t really a surprising revelation. Force the movement and fire it into the gaping hole ... theoretically.

 

Primary

Goals

Shots

Sh%

Non-Primary

Goals

Shots

Sh%

Kane

14

47

29.79

Kane

4

63

6.35

Ovechkin

9

45

20.00

Ovechkin

7

76

9.21

Seguin

7

25

28.00

Seguin

4

42

9.52

 

Tyler Seguin has an interesting ratio firing around 12.5% efficiency off primary passes, yet only generates 40% of shot attempts into shots on goal. At 5v5, that number drops to 35%.

 

As the shooter, Tyler Seguin is the only slacker here – if you can call it that – with 40% of shot attempts from an offensive zone A1 becoming converting to shots on goal.

 

Kane is the puck daddy here, with a whopping 61.5% of attempts ending up on net.

 

Shooter All Sit

Sh%

% SOG from Attempts

ShAttempt Sh%

Kane

17.91

61.47

28.57

Benn

24.00

51.02

25.00

Seguin

12.50

40.68

8.57

Ovechkin

10.87

53.80

12.66

 

At 5v5, the biggest drop off is from Tyler Seguin, a five percent drop in shots on goal associated with shot attempts.

 

Shooter 5v5

Sh%

% SOG from Attempts

ShAttempt Sh%

Kane

12.82

59.09

18.52

Benn

11.76

48.57

11.11

Seguin

20.00

35.71

11.11

Ovechkin

13.89

52.94

15.63

 

Staying at 5v5, as the distributors, Seguin passes contributed to a 9.27% shooting percentage among teammates while only 50% of shot attempts hit the net.

 

Teammate Jamie Benn generated 48% of shot attempts into shots on goal with 11.7% efficiency as a shooter, but shots from teammates based on his passes fared poorly with 3.7% efficiency. Is there a lag on Seguin from Jamie Benn considering how much time they spend together? Benn with a bull-in-a-China shop mentality and individual ability can create lots on his own. Does that affect his efficiency as a primary passer?

 

Passers

Sh%

% SOG from Attempts

ShAttempt Sh%

Kane

10.42

44.04

8.2

Benn

3.70

35.53

2.04

Seguin

9.27

50.17

9.333

 

Five goals were scored on 43 shots on goal (10.4%) generated by a Kane A1 pass. The total accounted for 44% of shots on goal (based on 109 shot attempts.) Kane is more effective as the shooter for the likeliest occurrence of a shot on goal than as the distributor based on this data sample.

 

Shooters receiving a Patrick Kane pass as the primary passer earned 15.15% all-situation shooting percentage, but completed a smaller percentage of passes into shots on goal (38.6%).

 

Kane led all Blackhawks with 66 primary assists converted to a shot on goal, with 10 as goals, on a team leading 146 shot attempts based on his A1 passes from within the offensive zone.

 

Finally, Alex Ovechkin primary passes contributed to 13.6% shooting percentage among recipients, and similar to Kane experienced a drop in the percentage of shots on goal as a percentage of shot attempts (36.1%, down from 53.8% when he’s the shooter). Is this something to be further explored as data and game circumstances change with more data.

 

Passers

Sh%

% SOG from Attempts

Kane

15.15

38.60

Ovechkin

13.60

36.10

 

I put together a team level shooting percentage based primarily on passing in all situations (left chart) and at 5v5 (right chart). Listed in between is the number of games tracked for each team. Overall, these are small samples and have to be treated as such, but that doesn’t mean we can’t lay a foundation to explore more comprehensive data down the road. Some pre-emptive setup to take advantage of later data releases.

 

Teams with games tracked above average are highlighted in green, while data bars rank where each team falls in shooting percentage and the percentage of shots on goal represented in their overall shot attempts.

 

View post on imgur.com

 

Gus Katsaros
Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog MapleLeafsHotStove.com ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey