Data Analysis: Czech Republic vs Switzerland 6-4 – 05.12.2018

Very even match was to see in O2 Arena to conclude Group A standings. Host country beat Switzerland 6-4 to take over the first spot in the group standings. Nerdy dive into data shows what was happening during the match.

Let us cut to the core of the game, shall we? Dangerous possessions were evenly distributed for both teams but their distribution in different types of attack was not. Team Switzerland showed quality in creating *clear path opportunities at even strength and especially in the first and third period was making troubles for Czech players. Home team countered with odd man rushes in the first period with 3-0 differential plus was able to cool Swiss offence down in the second period while being ahead scorewise.

*Clear path is a situation in which offensive player is located in dangerous area in front of the net, there is no defender to mark him tight and a real chance for this player to have ball exists.

Following numbers count different types of possessions in the game at even strength for both teams:

32-38 in slow attack possessions

19-17 in quick attack possessions

3-5 for turnover possessions

5-1 in odd man rush possessions

Surprisingly these clear paths for Switzerland were dominant in quick attack possessions. Huge advantage of 3-10 clear path opportunities were created from quick attacks. This gave Swiss team 59% efficiency of yielding clear paths from otherwise not that dangerous quick attacks. More we can find in following graph.

Turnover possessions remained dangerous for both teams. Their occurrence in the game was rather low and still both teams were able to score once from that situation. Switzerland won the game 1-2 on quick attack possession goals. On the other hand Czech Republic was successful in being more dangerous from slow attack possessions. They created 6-3 advantage in clear paths and also 3-0 advantage in goals scored, all from slow attacks at even strength.

Next gif offers an example of how dangerous Switzerland was from quick attacks.

Heller (no. 7) was able to deny forecheck and led quick 3 on 3 attack. Czech defence was caught out of position and good chance and goal against was executed nicely.

Next example shows how can defender create dangerous play from rather complicated situation.

Veltsmid (no. 64) took a risk and sent hard pass along the boards for little 2 on 1. Also, you might remember his pass to Benes to give Czechs 4-3 lead.

We are transitioning to players here.

Same metrics (clear path and odd man rush opportunities) are visualized in the graph above. Dominant results of clear path opportunity differential put Swiss second line (Bischofberger, Heller, Riedi, Meier, Maurer) in the spotlight. The best dangerous possession differential from the Czechs goes to Czech third line (Veltsmid, Garcar, Rypar, Langer, Benes).

Play-off matches are approaching and do not expect battle level to go down. This gif is here to honour that and to conclude another aspect in the game found.

Compete level of Czechs was high and here yielded clear path opportunity like this one.

By Petr Malina