How defencemen transitioned the puck in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs
This offseason I made the highly questionable, but hopefully worthwhile, decision to go back and re-watch all 85 games that were played during the course of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's something that I did a couple of years ago, and while it was a grueling process, it was one that ultimately proved to be quite neat in the end. So I'm bringing it back again here, and hopefully, you'll find value in it.
The goal of the project was to track the play of every defenceman in the transition game, in an attempt to quantify their individual contributions with and without the puck. Using only 5-on-5 situations, I looked at how they did when attempting to exit their own zone to start the breakout, and how they did when defending their blueline versus opposing players trying to enter the zone against them.
We'll focus on the first part today because everyone likes offence, and get to the second part in another upcoming piece.
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