Looking at the Leafs Controlled Entries – TheLeafsNation

0
4



Our good friends over at Oilersnation occasionally get their hands some pretty neat proprietary data that we don’t get a chance to see in the wild too often, and today they had an article featuring some controlled entry data from SportsLogiq. If you are interested in reading the full summary of the data, you can check out their post below…

Best NHL Forwards at Carrying The Puck into Offensive Zone

If you are here for the Leafs centric look at the numbers, we’ve got you covered here. If you’ve taken a glance at the original Oilers Nation post, you’ll see that I’ve jazzed up the numbers below with rate stats to give it a bit more perspective as well…

PLAYER TEAM TOI 5X5 PTS CONTROLLED ENTRIES CE WITH SCA CE WITH SCA RATE CONTROLLED ENTRIES/60 Scoring Chance off of Entry/60
KASPERI KAPANEN TORONTO 851 27 227 72 31.70% 16.00 5.08
AUSTON MATTHEWS TORONTO 1151 45 285 80 28.10% 14.86 4.17
WILLIAM NYLANDER TORONTO 981 38 240 73 30.40% 14.68 4.46
MITCHELL MARNER TORONTO 883 32 216 71 32.90% 14.68 4.82
DENIS MALGIN TORONTO 458 7 112 23 20.50% 14.67 3.01
ILYA MIKHEYEV TORONTO 515 21 104 27 26.00% 12.12 3.15
ANDREAS JOHNSSON TORONTO 560 14 113 37 32.70% 12.11 3.96
JOHN TAVARES TORONTO 968 29 188 44 23.40% 11.65 2.73
JASON SPEZZA TORONTO 544 18 101 18 17.80% 11.14 1.99
ZACH HYMAN TORONTO 787 24 138 38 27.50% 10.52 2.90
ALEXANDER KERFOOT TORONTO 831 25 144 37 25.70% 10.40 2.67

So at a first glance, I’d say the Penguins are likely a team that looks at Controlled Entries and puts a lot of stock in them. Additionally, I’d say that I was a bit surprised to see that Marner fared well in this regard, and that he was right in there with William Nylander and Auston Matthews when looking by rate instead of count.

The fact that Tavares, Hyman, Kerfoot were as low as they were might speak to why Tavares might have struggled more this year, as the line could have benefited from a second strong puck carrier on the other wing to offset that Tavares wasn’t carrying the puck into the zone himself. A case can be made that Johnsson or Mikheyev are better suited to play him with Hyman or Kerfoot, but when you consider how Kapanen and Tavares didn’t work either it’s a reminder that there’s more to this than looking at one stat in isolation.

I’m legitimately surprised by Denis Malgin doing as well as he did in this regard, and while I noted above that going all in on one stat isn’t ideal, part of me wants to explore the idea of Malgin as a thirteenth forward at the very least and give him an extended look as a Leaf.

The data shared by Jason Gregor in his post was limited to players with 100 controlled entries, and as such we don’t have data for the other Leafs forwards, nor do we have it for Evan Rodrigues.

Just to put some of this data in context, we’ll take a look at the top 20 players in Controlled Entries per 60 around the league…

PLAYER TEAM TOI 5X5 PTS CONTROLLED ENTRIES CE WITH SCA CE WITH SCA RATE CONTROLLED ENTRIES/60 Scoring Chance off of Entry/60
MATHEW BARZAL NYI 1103 39 395 112 28.40% 21.49 6.09
NATHAN MACKINNON COLORADO 1075 52 378 135 35.70% 21.10 7.53
TAYLOR HALL ARIZONA 924 30 319 96 30.10% 20.71 6.23
CONNOR MCDAVID EDMONTON 1055 50 357 122 34.20% 20.30 6.94
BRAYDEN POINT TAMPA BAY 943 44 315 98 31.10% 20.04 6.24
NIKOLAJ EHLERS WINNIPEG 1013 46 336 97 28.90% 19.90 5.75
PATRICK KANE CHICAGO 1140 50 370 104 28.10% 19.47 5.47
DAVID PASTRNAK BOSTON 985 48 318 69 21.70% 19.37 4.20
JACK EICHEL BUFFALO 1124 35 360 85 23.60% 19.22 4.54
JOHNNY GAUDREAU CALGARY 1020 30 320 98 30.60% 18.82 5.76
VINCENT TROCHECK CAROLINA 831 26 260 64 24.60% 18.77 4.62
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS COLUMBUS 987 33 307 85 27.70% 18.66 5.17
BLAKE COLEMAN TAMPA BAY 587 24 180 47 26.10% 18.40 4.80
ARTEMI PANARIN NYR 1078 59 323 98 30.30% 17.98 5.45
TIMO MEIER SAN JOSE 960 36 284 82 28.90% 17.75 5.13
LEON DRAISAITL EDMONTON 1163 56 344 104 30.20% 17.75 5.37
MAX DOMI MONTREAL 961 27 281 77 27.40% 17.54 4.81
ANDRE BURAKOVSKY COLORADO 705 30 204 61 29.90% 17.36 5.19
KEVIN FIALA MINNESOTA 774 34 223 61 27.40% 17.29 4.73

Kasperi Kapanen was ranked 37th in the league in controlled entries per 60, and Auston Matthews was 54th.

The names on the list are a lot of the players you’d expect to see on the list, but peppered with mild surprises like Vincent Trocheck, Blake Coleman, and Andre Burakovsky

In taking a look at some of the unrestricted free agent options available at forward this summer, it looks like Wayne Simmonds might be one of the stronger options available although none of the names I cherry picked are coming off strong a season with strong controlled entry rates…

PLAYER TEAM TOI 5X5 PTS CONTROLLED ENTRIES CE WITH SCA CE WITH SCA RATE CONTROLLED ENTRIES/60 Scoring Chance off of Entry/60
WAYNE SIMMONDS BUFFALO 802 13 161 34 21.10% 12.04 2.54
ALEX GALCHENYUK MINNESOTA 609 17 106 29 27.40% 10.44 2.86
COREY PERRY DALLAS 636 13 106 24 22.60% 10.00 2.26
PAT MAROON TAMPA BAY 678 20 110 21 19.10% 9.73 1.86
CARL SODERBERG ARIZONA 862 22 110 34 30.90% 7.66 2.37

It would be interesting to see this data split out from the Babcock and Keefe eras as there is a chance that the numbers might be more exaggerated under Keefe than the much more conservative coaching style of Babcock. As with most things context is key, and if looking at Controlled Entries in isolation can’t tell a full story. One of Gregor’s findings was that the Avalanche were the leaders with having 12 players exceed 100 controlled entries, the Leafs sat at 11 players, perhaps this is speaking to entering by committee rather than relying on the star players to handle the workload themselves. Gregor also notes that Patrice Bergeron only had 85 controlled entries last season, so using this as a measure of success for forwards or the success of a line might be ill advised.

The controlled entry numbers are an interesting piece of information to tuck into your back pocket and pull out to look at other data, but it’s still nice to see strong numbers from Matthews, Marner, and Nylander nevertheless.