Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 20 vs Pittsburgh

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And here is the neutral zone data for the Isles’ home game against Pitt on 11/22, the second half of the home and home. This time around the Isles DID dominate the neutral zone, as they did dominate the whole game.  A carry-in rate of 59% is amazing, and holding the pens to 43% is great, and of course the Isles out-entered the Pens as well.  John Tavares once again had a ton of carry-ins, ala last year, which is a great sign.

Overall, between the home and home with Pitt, the Isles outplayed the penguins in the neutral zone overall, with a neutral zone fenwick of 51.6%.  Given that the Pens are an elite opponent, that’s a pretty great sign.

Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 19 AT Pittsburgh

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The Isles outplayed the Pens in the first game of this home and home, on the road, as shown by the possession #s (also and by us winning). That said, the victory wasn’t carried by neutral zone play: while the Isles were even in controlled entries with the Pens, they were outentered by Pittsburgh.

Instead, the Isles made the most out of their entries. Again, this isn’t a method of out-possessing the opponent that will work as consistently as simply winning the neutral zone, but the Isles were up nearly the entire game so with score effects, this really doesn’t look that bad. And it was a road game vs an elite Penguins team.  The question is whether the Isles would win the neutral zone in the rematch the next day….

Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 18 vs Tampa

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Whereas the last game was a schedule loss for the Isles, this was one for the Lightning, who had played the Rangers just the day before. But whereas the Isles were solidly beaten in the neutral zone in their own schedule loss, the Isles barely beat the bolts in the NZ in this game.

Now of course, the Isles solidly defeated the lightning anyhow, thanks to superior offensive zone play leading to more shots per entry and the “goaltending” of Evgeni Nabokov. So in the long run, no harm no foul. But you’d like to see better NZ numbers than this considering the circumstances. You can win without them sure – but you’ll win more consistently win if you take advantage of the neutral zone.

One thing to note player wise from this game is that John Tavares finally looked like himself from previous years, being super active in the neutral zone and carrying-in a ton. Let’s hope that continues.

Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 16 AT Florida

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Another excellent performance in the neutral zone for the Isles, who dominated by carrying in a ton while not allowing much for the Panthers. Oddly, the Panthers got a ton of shots off of dump ins this game, which is NOT normal – it’s not uncommon to see games where teams get nearly no shots off dumps in an entire game, but getting more shots per entry off dumps than off carries is bizarre.

Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 14 @ Arizona

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This makes two games in a row the Isles have become an extremely fast neutral zone team, preferring to carry-in rather than dump, with the Isles actually hitting above 50% this time.  Most of the Isles’ neutral zone dominance came in the first (the Isles had a 68% Neutral Zone Fenwick in the first, which is ridiculous), but played slightly better than even the rest of the game, with practically the entire game being in close situations.

Basically everyone had multiple carry-ins, with the D-men accounting for 10 of them.  Just a filthy game.  Gotta keep this up vs the Avs on Tuesday.