Data #WorldJuniors #FocusOnRussia

This article stores data and links to them about performance of the Russian national team at the 2021 World Juniors in Hockey. I will publish blog articles summarizing interesting findings in separate posts.

Game 1: Russia vs USA 5:3 (1:1, 3:0, 1:2)
Game 2: Russia vs Czech Republic 0:2 (0:0, 0:1, 0:1)
Game 3: Russia vs Austria 7:1 – no data due to big gap in team strentghs
Game 4: Russia vs Sweden 4:3 (2:1, 0:1, 1:1 – 1:0)
Quaterfinals: Russia vs Germany 2:1 (1:0, 1:0, 0:1)
Semifinal: Russia vs Canada 0:5 (0:3, 0:1, 0:1)
Bronze medal game: Russia vs Finland 1:4 (1:0, 0:1, 0:3)

All games data
Player spider graphs (comparing performance to teammates)

Glossary:

Zone exit = any situation in the defensive zone when Russian player is in clear possession of the puck (there is no battle at the moment) and has some options (not only to poke or dump puck out) while being under pressure that limits easy play to get puck out of the zone. More players can contribute to one exit attempt, in zone passes are counted as well! In case of failed or uncontrolled exit only one player is assigned there (the one who caused the result).

Zone entry = any touch of a player that attempts to enter the offensive zone while being in a control of puck (no battle at the moment). It can also be pass in the neutral zone that fools defence and opens space on the other side boards for a clean entry (of an teammate). That also means there can be more than one player assigned to one entry attempt.

Breakout pass = any pass originating in defensive half of the ice than is sent from under the pressure of opponent and its execution leads to open space for offensive transition.

Stretch pass = any pass originating in defensive half of the ice that crosses two lines (goal, red or blue lines) in a forward movement.

Slot pass = Any pass that connects to a player situated in the offensive zone slot (or home-plate) area. Royal road passes have their own category.

Royal road pass = Pass that crosses offensive zone slot area as well as imaginary axis connecting both goals.

Creative passes = breakout passes + stretch passes + slot passes + royal road passes

All passes must be intercepted cleanly (should also not be send to backhand when the space is tight).

Clear path = offensive player is situated in the slot with a clear path to the net (no blocking opponent) and is in clean (no battle) possession of the puck or is assumed to receive an easy pass there. Yes, these situations might not always be executed by shot but I count them too.

Odd man rush = 3 on 2, 3 on 1, 3 on 0, 2 on 1, 2 on 0 or 1 on 0 quick attacks in which offence has enough confort to execute the play to threaten the opponent. Yes, these situations might not always be executed by shot but I count them too.

Dangerous possessions = clear paths + odd man rushes

Why these above?

Transitional (exits, entries) variables help us to understand which players are able to move puck forward using their speed, puckhandling and puck protection skills. Different research has been done there proving the importance of this matter.

Creative passes are of interest of mine lately. They were proven to be of interest in other sports as well as in hockey. I am studying the effect they have on plays (how much they improve xG if they happen during a possession). I will use for this data from #xGextraliga project and will reveal that research in 2021.

Dangerous possessions meets criteria of so called pareto principle. They are the most essential carriers of xG and goals in games and their frrquency in games is limited. They happen on only few possessions per game but account for majority of goals scored. To elaborate more on this topic I recommend Hockey Analytics from Baker and Shea.

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