Chicago Blackhawks: 2014-15 Defensemen Review — Passing

By Melissa Peterson
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We had previously taken a look at the Chicago Blackhawks defensemen’s production and suppression rates, so we’re going to switch gears a bit and focus on passing and zone entries. This article will focus on Duncan Keith, Brent SeabrookNiklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival, as they had enough time on ice to to offer individual representations and provide a more complete picture of the 2014-15 season.

Note: If you’re not familiar with some of these abbreviations or terms, all are listed at the bottom under “Resources” with brief explanations for your convenience. All charts can be clicked on to enlarge. All of these charts are ranked in comparison with averages produced by other defensemen. 

Duncan Keith

Keith played 103 out of 105 games for the Blackhawks this past season, being deployed for 42.18 percent of Chicago’s total ice time.

Keith is annoying in that he’s pretty much good at everything, but that’s great when he is on your team. You can see from his slight dropoff in the Scoring Chances area that most of his setups are made outside of the home-plate scoring area, although he by no means struggles in that area either.

His high number of zone-entry assists suggests he is more than capable at controlled entries (non dump-ins), and he actually ranks highest on the team in that capacity. His high marks in SAG/60 suggest he is the final person to pass off to a shooter before a shot attempt is made. His CC Rank suggests that Keith is involved in most of the offensive play taking place on the ice while he is out there.

From this chart we can tell, especially if comparing to Hjalmarsson’s shot-rate differential chart below, just how much offensive generation Keith is responsible for. There are very few areas of the ice on which Keith is not offensively productive. There are also very few areas in which Keith is a suppression liability either, suggesting he is an overall efficient two-way defenseman.

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  • Furthermore, because Keith thrives in basically every scenario, it makes him easy to pair with a defensman who might be struggling with play after, say, a lingering injury that doesn’t bench the player entirely, or one struggling just in certain areas of play.

    Brent Seabrook

    Seabrook played all 105 games for the Blackhawks this past season, being deployed for 37.42 percent of Chicago’s total ice time.

    Much like Keith, Seabrook is more responsible for offensive generation versus strict shot suppression. Seabrook is just less involved in it than Keith. His higher rank in Composite SG/60 compared to SAG/60 suggests he contributes more as a secondary passer than a primary one like Keith.

    Considering Seabrook is kind of known for that blue-line-area slapshot in toward the net, it’s no surprise that he sees the spike in his (R) point area in shots-for differential. This is highlighted as well by his lowest rankings coming from the SC areas (although, again, they still aren’t terrible).

    Next: Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya

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