3/21/18 – Answering a Mike Heika Chat Question for the Morning News

Answering reader chat questions seems like a beating, but weekly Mike Heika does it anyway. Then the Dallas Morning News overlords turn it into an article (blog post? entry?) to collect those #ValuablePageViews as fast as they crank out those blogger-in-a-basement memes. Inject it into my veins. That isn’t Heika’s fault, and it really has nothing to do with this story either other than the fact that I like to occasionally indiscriminately throw slugs.

Anyhow…in Heika’s chat today he was asked a question at or near the end that didn’t really get answered.

Zone Exits

I have no idea if the Dallas Stars do Question-Asker, though based on empirical evidence I could guess if they do it doesn’t matter, but I do know someone who does. Corey Sznajder does the yeoman work of tracking every single NHL game. One of the things he tracks are zone exits for each team.

(As an aside, I’m going to reference his work often. He does great work that is very valuable. The information is available for people who support his work to use in their own work, whatever that may be. I’ve sent my tiny donation monthly from very early on, and if you think his work helps you watch hockey through a more refined lens I would highly recommend that you chip in too. Go to his Patreon and give him money.)

As of this writing he has 25 Stars games tracked. He tracks so much more than just zone exits, but since that is the question being asked that’s all the information I’ll put out there in the sake of brevity.

Some definitions:

Touches: how often the player had an opportunity to exit the zone

Exits: how often the player exited the zone

Possession Exits: how often the team kept possession of the puck on the player’s exits

Exit%: the percent of times the team successfully exited the zone on the player’s touches

Possession Exit%: ditto, but for possession exits

Fail%: how often the team failed to exit on a player’s touches


I sorted these charts by Possession Exit%. I’m also screening my words and thoughts here, intentionally refusing to interpret anything until later. I would point out where Gemel Smith, Remi Elie, Devin Shore, and Brett Ritchie are though.


We’ll deal with Martin Hanzal and Radek Faksa later. Just, let it go. I don’t think it’s really their fault.


This will mostly be presented without comment too other than “look at ya boy”.


Snark I can’t contain: now we know why Hitchcock loves Dillon Heatherington so much more than Julius Honka.

So, random Question-Asker. I hope that answers your question.

Admit it though, you thought I was going to hit that leadership bit about Jamie Benn. Don’t worry, dear reader. We’ll get there, but not now.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.