NHL: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks

Going Teuvo – A Look At Teravainen’s Passing Stats

Our friend Ryan Stimson is back with some of his neato passing stats stuff. He works for InLouWeTrust.com, or whatever they’re going to change their name to now. Follow him on Twitter @RK_stimp. 

Hello Chicago fans! Congratulations on yet another Stanley Cup. As you may recall from my last trip over to the Indian, I have been leading a project on tracking passing statistics. I tracked about sixty of the Blackhawks games last season and have some help finishing up the rest of the schedule – Regular Season only. I wanted to dig into some of the data and share it with you all. Today’s focus with be Teuvo Teravainen.

A few words on Teuvo’s context before we begin. Since this represents the final forty-three games of the regular season, it’s important to note how he was deployed and the quality of his competition and teammates. Generally, zone starts and competition will wash out over the course of a season, but since we’re dealing with slightly over half-a-season, be sure to keep this mind. All data is from 5v5 situations.

Though, once we look at how he was deployed, we see that Teravainen faced weaker competition than most forwards, but his zone starts were right in line with most other Hawks forwards. It’s a similar picture for his the quality of his teammates. In short: Teravainen played against lower competition alongside lower teammates and faced no real extremes in deployment compared to most Hawks forwards. In fact, his most common line mates were Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. Shaw and Bickell both saw their CF% (Corsi For Percentage) take a hit when apart from Teravainen. With that noted, let’s get to the fun part.

Teravainen was one of my favorite players to track. Goals and nifty passing plays are exciting, and Teuvo provided much excitement during Hawks games.  We’ll begin with the most exciting of plays: Royal Road Attempts. Our project focused strictly on passes across the Royal Road and Teuvo was brilliant at this. Let’s start with looking at the on-ice numbers.

Editor’s Note: If you don’t hit the link, “Royal Road” is basically a line from the center of the goal through the tops of the circles, akin to the home-plate area. 


This tells us that over the final forty-three games of the season, the Hawks generated more Royal Road attempts with Teravaninen on the ice than any other forward. How could this be? Well, the beauty of tracking passing data is we can precisely quantify just how involved a player was in specific offensive events. Essentially, we can take a player’s on-ice Royal Road figure and break it down into the method of their contributions (shot or pass). Let’s look at this chart again, but with individual production.


Wow! Teravainen contributes to a Royal Road event through his passing or shooting at a rate of 3.3 per sixty minutes. The blue bar represents the player’s overall contributions, the orange bar represents the player’s passing contributions, and the gray bar represents the player’s shooting contributions. We see that Teravainen does most of his Royal Road damage in setting up teammates, though he is able to get into position for a fair amount of his own Royal Road shot attempts.

Now let’s take a look at overall passing possession. You can think of this as “Passing Corsi,” right? All shot attempts preceded by passes are just Corsi restricted to shot attempts from passes. Got it? Great. So, looking at which players were on the ice for and against these types of shot attempts, we can evaluate them in the same way as we do Corsi. Now, why look at just passes? Well, the Blackhawks shot at 5.5% from shots that were not preceded by a pass last season and 7.6% from all shots preceded by passes. In fact, if you want to refine it even further, they shot 9.8% on shots preceded by multiple passes. Passing is an easy way to quantify shot quality. Forcing the goalie to move laterally and chase the puck is an obvious boost to goal-scoring. So, that’s why we focus on passes. Using these passing possession metrics, we can view them in relative forms as well.


In terms of passing possession, we find Teravainen sandwiched between Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, which is a good place to find oneself in charts. Now, in addition to categorizing shot attempts as Royal Road attempts, we also tracked passes leading to scoring chances. These were defined as passes made into the home plate area in front of goal. Let’s see how Teravainen fares there.


In terms of Scoring Chance passing possession, Teravainen leapfrogs Kane and sits atop the Chicago forwards. Similar to the Royal Road Contributions, we can get an idea of just how often Teuvo contributes to Scoring Chances. Using our passing data and War-on-Ice’s individual Scoring Chance numbers, we can calculate just how often a player attempts or generates a Scoring Chance.


So, Teuvo ranks third in total Scoring Chance Contributions per sixty minutes, behind Kane and Marian Hossa. That, again, is solid company.

It’s clear that Teuvo feasted on his competition and generated both quality and quantity, on par with most of Chicago’s top six forwards. The question heading into next season will be if he can continue to do so in a top six role himself. I see no reason why not. The level of competition will improve, but so will the caliber of his teammates. Or, perhaps Chicago will continue to roll Teuvo out and dominate the bottom six forwards. I hope we can continue to gather this data on the Blackhawks next season. If interested in tracking with me and my team, don’t hesitate to reach out at hockeypassingstats@gmail.com

Thanks for reading! Let me know what questions and comments you have.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    Wow, that’s some awesome stuff right there. Seems like the kind of passing stats you’d want out of a center and not, say, a winger.

    • SuperHawk27

      Kane and Hossa aren’t centers, so I don’t think the stats say what forward position they would be best at.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        Kane is the exception that proves every rule. Generally you want your best passer to be a center to create for his wingers.

        • lizmcneill

          Yes, but they’re used to that setup because they have Kaner, so it’s probably not the end of the world if they deploy Teuvo the same way on a different line.

          His defense is way better than Kaner’s at that age, which would help at center. And hopefully he gets Yannick’d at some point like Kruger did.

          • Sopel the catfish

            “gets Yannick’d”

  • Sopel the catfish

    Thanks for putting this together Ryan, well done and easily understandable.

  • SuperHawk27

    Joakim Nordstrom…..It’s literally falling of the ledge. And still falling.

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      Nordy can skate grinder line on my club ANY day. Like Ben Smith if only their stick skills came EVEN close to their “heart” they’d both be superstars. As is tho …

      So while I cannot dispute the accuracy of your comment, that doesn’t mean I agree with it

      PS – I will admit’s Nordstrom’s cheap shot last season (that got him suspended) is a black mark against the guy for sure. He is not a dirty player tho imho.

  • 60MinutesBaby60

    Bravo. BRAVO at Ryan Stimson for his work here. As fine – and informative – a piece as I’ve ever read at TCI or any other puckcentric place.

    TT “is a keeper” – our eyes told us that and here RStimson verifies same with REALLY impressive graphics. Just excellent stuff.
    Go Hawks

  • Eric Ericson

    Now its confirmed by EA that the United Center won´t be in NHL 16. Thats a shame! I am one of many who have tried to contact the United Center. I´ve have tried to contact the front office on the website on Chicago Blackhawks.com.

    But all for nothing it seems like, (theres a little chance to convince the United Center to sign on the waiver/paperwork before NHL 16 realease, in september 15).

    Does anyone else here on the message boards know who I can contact on this issue. Because EA can´t do a thing untill the paperwork are signed. The United Center keep ignoring these questions on NHL 16. And the Chicago Blackhawks (and Bulls) that have a partneship with United Center seem to have little to say to on this.

    This is the latest email I sent to the front office of the Chicago Blackhawks.

    To the Front Office

    I want to start by congratulate Jamal Mayers and welcome him to an new adventure in his career with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    But there is a issue that for some reason nobody wants to respond to. WHY the united center won´t allow its name in NHL 16!

    This will continue until someone at the united center company or you as co-partner with the bulls do something about this.

    WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! Untill we get an authentic arena and with all banners in the rafters atmosphere.

    This is a little recap from upset fans:


    Is it in or out this year?


    Is that 100%?

    No United Center why???? Is it is cause of 2k still?

    It seems like United has a problem with EA Sports NHL. If you want to blame someone, blame United.
    EA for sure did everything to bring the Cup champs’ Arena in the game.

    Why no united center that doesnt make sense?

    Copyright…or the United Center disliking of the Hawks…

    I believe T F who was there a month or so ago said it wasn’t in at the time. So that is all we have for an answer right now.

    EA has sent out the waivers to the teams and is still getting them back, so if they sign the waiver the United Center is in the game,
    if not it won’t be

    I started this tweet on Twitter:

    @United @UnitedCenter We want the #Blackhawks arena in #NHL16!

    what is the hold up with united center?

    I know for a few years MSG didnt allow their name to be used (only nba 2k could because their naming contract was for multiple years),
    but Newsday (local paper) had an article that while the Garden renovation was being planned and then was being worked on the naming rights for the Garden
    wouldn’t be lent out until the renovation was finished. Now it is obviously.

    Does the name on the ice matter? YES, and I’d like to know why 28 out of 30 arenas (arizona excluded) are authentic and there are one hold out. I know it’s not on EA’s side, but I’m interested to know. I dont believe I’m the only one, but you seem to be getting annoyed over something that doesn’t appear to even interest you….you seem to poorly pick and choose your battles.

    The name on the ice does concern a lot of people because of two reasons. #1: EA advertised heavily about authentic stadiums yet one are holding out. one of which belongs to the best team in hockey, the Hawks.
    It’s more about EA communicating why they can’t get the UC on board. If you advertise something and can’t deliver, at least explain why. #2: Hardcore hockey fans are obsessed with esthetics.
    People want NHL for PC so they can ad realistic ads, gear, masks, etc. into the game. Everyone cares about gameplay but at least making it esthetically pleasing is a MUCH easier fix than fixing glitch goals and poor AI.

    With all that said, it appears Chelsea Dagger will play when the Hawks score a goal in NHL 16. So if they have that, I assume they should have the authentic goal horn.

    Its also not just the name on the ice but the arena model and visual elements. (even the scoreboard). I’d imagine Blackhawks fans who visit the arena frequently would like to feel like they are playing at THEIR arena as opposed to some fake place.

    A, you may have read it on here 100 times. Doesn’t mean that everything you read on the internet is true. But you probably know this. It’s never been explained by anyone directly from the EA Dev team.
    Random posters on here have stated things like “the 2K series has the rights to the United Center” or “the application wasn’t submitted on time” or something to that nature. Here’s what I heard thru people
    I know in the team’s front office. It came down to United merging with Continental Airlines. The “United Center” was approved but the new United Logo was not. EA wasn’t going to put the words United Center on there without the approved logo I assume. But beyond that, the specifics remain a mystery. And yes, they don’t need to come over to my house to tell me why. But when hundreds,
    if not thousands, of people are messaging the Devs or posting it on the “Ask EA Forum” and they simply ignore the question, then yes, we feel like they are dodging us. In your story, think of 5 people asking you how your day was, etc….
    guess what? Tell one guy that my day is great and everyone else will get the message. The only reason we keep asking is because they keep ignoring the question. If this isn’t an issue to you and you don’t care then why bother complaining about it. I love the Hawks. I’m a season ticket holder. I want my favorite teams stadium in the damn game. You don’t have to get that or like that.
    But face it. The Hawks are a MAJOR market team, an original 6 team, and a 3 time cup champion in 6 years. Even casual fans care about the Hawks being authentic in this game.

    You heard it first from the many fans out there in the world. Come on now, try to persuade the united center to allow EA to use its name and arena likeness in NHL 16 video game. They have already done so for NBA Live 15 video game.

    Here are link on a demo on how it would look on the ice if the united center were in NHL 16:


    MR Rocky Wirtz

    MR John Mcdonough

    Mr Jay Blunk

    make this request come thru to us fans that love hockey and the Chicago Blackhawks!

  • chichicagochi

    wtf how is this stat not widely tracked? so awesome thank you for your work

  • Jane Doe

    Crib note on this post for the stupids out there like me: Teuvo Teravainen. He good.

    On a side note, I found a nugget in the Royal Road Contributions/60 chart very interesting. Sharp had more Royal Shot Attempts/60 than anyone on the team. Assuming that a pass crossing the Royal Road immediately preceding a shot attempt increases a shooter’s scoring opportunity by over ten times combined w/the number of those attempts Sharpie had, I think this is some statistical datat that backs up the 2014-2015 eye test and he won’t be returning to he career shooting %, most likely ever.

  • Harry Longwood

    Awesome analysis. Thanks for all the hard work!

  • GoldenJet

    ….and TT will be running the 3rd line?

    Or should the lines be 1, 2a, 2b and the Kruger Line?

    Please, let them have a Kruger Line…

  • Ryan Stimson

    Thanks for all the kind words on our work. If you want to play around with the data yourself. You can download it here http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2015/5/20/8627957/2015-passing-project-data-release-volume-i and here http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2015/6/17/8788653/2015-passing-project-data-release-volume-iii

  • Sean Fitzgerald

    great post! I really enjoyed it!

  • Roger Johnson

    Is there any way to break down the stats for TT based upon when he was in center vs wing? I would be curious how the additional defensive duties impacts his stats.

    Also would love to see his playoff numbers, his play improved significantly in the playoffs IMO. And off the top of my head I think he was playing against better opponents on average as well. (although my memory is not the best)

  • Lemmy

    Hockey abstraction hilarity. What happens if the player’s line utilizes behind-the-net tactics? Oops!

  • lisa simpson

    Very curious where those other names land in passing posession, Versteeg, Bickell, and Saad