Neutral Zone Analysis: 2014-2015 Season: Game 32 @ Detroit

G32

Detroit, like Chicago, has a bunch of guys who are deadly carrying the puck in.  So like Chicago, the Isles allowed a good # of carry ins – 47% of Detroit’s entries were with control.  Course the Isles did even better, with 51% of their entries into the offensive zone via carry-in or pass-in. And the Isles out-entered the Wings significantly as well, with most of that coming in the first period.

An example of why carry-ins matter.  The Isles’ game winning goal happened when Johnny Boychuk of all people, carried the puck in by himself. Now nearly all of Boychuk’s controlled entries are by pass-in – he isn’t really a great skating D.  But here, with the Isles forwards changing, he carried in, took a shot, recovered the puck, wrapped around the net for another shot, at which point the Kid line had hit the ice and forced a turnover for the Anders Lee goal.  That doesn’t happen on a dump and change, or even a dump and entry most of the time…Carry ins cause teams to get more chances at the net than dumps, and as it showed here, the fourth chance led to the goal, all started by Boychuk’s simple refusal to chip it in.

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