Hockey Analytics

Solo Rush Shot Attempt Against

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

I’m keeping this post fairly light, taking into consideration everyone’s mind locked into the NHL Trade Deadline, only a mere days away.  Keep it locked to Rotoworld to stay up to date with all the breaking trades leading up to the busy trade deadline on February 29.

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There’s another exciting element on the docket next week, on top of the Monday deadline. There will be another data release from the passing project. I’ve gushed about this project in writings throughout this Hockey Analytics archive. The impact in the absence of RFID data in the public sphere, current and future is immense. I feel it’s an important part of the online collective as a valuable source for actionable data. No other source provides the same insight and data to piece together play sequences, strategy, adding a very complex layer for analysts.


For now, I’m just going to revisit solo rushes more in depth.


I introduced the concept of Solo Rushes here and expanded a little more using some practical examples here. Essentially a solo rush is a shot attempt by a player receiving a pass from the defensive or neutral zone and ‘Lone Rangering’ the opportunity, even with teammate support.


A note on the sample size and uneven tracking for games between teams. I’ve calculated per game values while including the amount of games tracked for each team in each image. Note some very low number of tracked games, potentially full of false signals. I’ve limited most of the heavy analysis in the past to the most tracked components, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Toronto wherever I could. Previous posts introduced solo rushes from the team’s perspective, or ‘solo rushes for’ (SRF). This post will go the other way, with solo rushes against (SRA).


All values in these charts are at 5v5, but let’s start with the table below, depicting the NHL average percentage of shot events (listed in first column) allowed from the scoring chance area (SC) or non-scoring chance area (NSC). This is again, based on uneven data, so these averages have to be taken with a note of caution. Generally, teams are very good at keeping player’s shooting attempts to the outside from a solo rush. There could be a variety of reasons for this. Are teams forcing the shots from the outside? If so, how? Are teams taking away passing options, or are these solo rushes limited in passing options due to lack of support. If that’s true, it would lead me to believe the puck carrier would attempt to drive hard to prime scoring real estate and limit shot attempts from low percentage areas.


NHL Averages



Shot Attempt










The first image is shot attempts. NHL teams allow on average 19.4% of solo rush shot attempts from the scoring chance area.


Underlined teams show the lowest per game percentage of shot attempts from the scoring area. Minnesota - and we all know what happened there - and Los Angeles (in a very small sample) stick out. The Kings in particular, for a team envisioned to be stingy defensively, it sure seems like they allow a lot of solo rush shot attempts from dangerous ice. The next question is why? Do they give up too much top of the zone space upon enemy zone entry, leading to the scoring chance area too accessible? Are these odd man rushes or streaks from players that sneak past the defense? The next release can provide some insight that may currently be missing here, but there’s something to explore about the Kings.


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Moving on, actual shot on goal events comprise 22% of shots on goal coming from the scoring chance area. The Kings actually overtake the NHL leading highest percentage of solo rushes per game from the scoring chance area. Other notables are underlined here. For instance, Carolina – who has been playing an improving game as the season has progressed – is fairly stingy with solo rush shots from dangerous ice. The Devils, Flyers and Blues lead the NHL.


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The last is shot attempts that didn’t end up as shots on goal, missed or blocked.


How about those Florida Panthers, limiting shot attempts from dangerous areas.  The Panthers have done an excellent job of keeping solo rushes to the outside in general, but for non-shot on goal events, they seem to keep the enemy to the outside.


Montreal with a dozen tracked games hasn’t allowed a shot on goal from a solo rush from within the scoring area. There are others with similar zeros, but they all share the same characteristic, single digit games tracked.  We need more games.


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With the next data release, we can hopefully get a better view of what’s happening here – and with lots of new data comes new possibilities.


Enjoy the trade deadline frenzy.

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