12/17/10 Det-Chi Passing

CHICAGO IL - DECEMBER 17: Tomas Kopecky #82 of the Chicago Blackhawks scores a goal against Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2nd period at the United Center on December 17 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Back in December, I put out feelers for people to score the 12/17 Detroit-Chicago game.  I even offered to pay.  I ended up with data for the third period of the game that's an absolute treasure trove.  (In case you ever want to do it yourself, a Hawks fan - known only as E. Gao - spent 18 hours recording the data.)

I have weeks of analysis that will come out of this, so I'm going to start with something basic: passing.  First, let's look at some top-level passing stats:


Total Dz Oz D->D D->N O->D/N O->O
Det Inc 22 3 15 1 2 2 13
Det Comp 102 45 34 30 15 0 34
Det Tot 124 48 49 31 17 2 47
Det % 82 94 69 97 88 0 72
Chi Inc 14 9 5 4 4 0 5
Chi Comp 46 25 14 24 1 1 13
Chi Tot 60 34 19 28 5 1 18
Chi % 77 74 74 86 20 100 72


Detroit was trailing 3-1 going into the 3rd, so we knew they were going to control the puck (and the passing) most of the time.  Overall, they generated 2/3 of the total passes in the period.  You can also see that Detroit was much more aggressive than Chicago - they made 47 passes in the offensive zone, compared to 18 for Chicago; they passed from inside their own blue line to outside of it 17 times to just 5 for Chicago; and they completed 30/31 d-zone passes compared to 24/28 for Chicago.

Regardless of the length of the pass, the passing proportions don't really deviate from the 2/3 ratio:


Length 0-10 10-20 20-30 30-40 40-50 50-60 60-70 70-80 80-90 90-100
Det Inc 3 6 5 4 0 1 1 0 0 2
Det Comp 0 16 28 21 17 11 5 2 2 0
Chi Inc 1 1 4 2 2 0 3 0 1 0
Chi Comp 3 6 9 14 6 6 1 1 0 0


Detroit simply tried more of everything.  A graphical representation is probably helpful:


Completed passes are represented by solid lines, while incomplete passes are dashed.  Some breakout passes that must have gone along the boards are shown as direct lines from point-to-point, which might look a little funny.

At any rate, there's a lot to come - individual passing; time of possession by zone; analysis of what happened when Detroit pulled Jimmy Howard for 1:22.  If you have any suggestions, please fill up the comment box!

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