How Todd McLellan keeps his lousy faceoff guys from hurting the Oilers

97-McDavid-5

Todd McLellan has a bit of a problem. He has three good faceoff choices in Matt Hendricks, Anton Lander and Mark Letestu. He also has three inferior faceoff options in Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl, though of course he never seems to have them all at the same time.

The good faceoff players are all fourth-line quality players and all (more or less) veterans. McLellan can’t double-shift those players all the time, and besides he needs to develop the faceoff skills of his young stars. How does he balance those competing priorities?

Zone Assignments

Faceoffs by Zone

NHL.com now tracks faceoffs by the zone in which they are taken, and there are some interesting trends to be found if we look at the Oilers’ six primary faceoff men, as reflected in the chart above. The number of faceoffs in each zone is recorded on the chart, with the coloured bar reflecting the percentage of each player’s faceoffs that take place in a given zone.

We see small neutral zone bars for Letestu, Lander and Hendricks. Each of those players takes more faceoffs in both the offensive and defensive zones than they do in the neutral zone.

That’s because those are high-leverage situations. According to work done by Gabriel Desjardins back in 2011, 100 extra faceoff wins in the offensive zone are worth an extra 2.5 goals. Logically, the same numbers apply in the defensive zone, just in reverse.

23-Hendricks-3

Hendricks (60.4 percent on faceoffs), Lander (54.5 percent) and Letestu (51.8 percent) give the Oilers their best chance of winning those more important draws.

Neutral zone faceoffs are less critical. Most of the people who did work in this area are now employed by NHL teams, so it’s hard to find the studies which support this (that may be something I should tackle over the summer) but the number of goals created and prevented by winning or losing a neutral zone draw is a lot smaller.

That’s why McDavid (36.4 percent on faceoffs), Nugent-Hopkins (45.4 percent) and Draisaitl (46.7 percent) take more faceoffs in the neutral zone than they do in either the offensive or defensive zones. Starting those lines at centre allows McLellan to have it both ways. He can continue to develop his centre’s faceoff game while not paying a cost in the here-and-now.

Naturally, there are limits to this strategy, and McLellan has to juggle other priorities, but as much as possible while matching lines and zones and getting ice-time to his best players he follows this strategy. The upshot is that Edmonton isn’t suffering as much for the faceoff woes of its youngest players as we might think at first glance.

Development

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The biggest factor in winning faceoffs is experience. There’s a common myth that size matters on the draw, but that’s nonsense—whenever I’ve compared faceoff prowess to size I’ve ended up finding no correlation whatsoever. When I’ve dug into experience (I just have unpublished stuff, so that’s maybe something else to write up over the summer), however, the results have been skewed heavily in favour of veterans.

Faceoffs aren’t a big man’s game. They’re an old man’s game.

The good news is that even players who are wretched out of the gate can get better at this. Consider Nugent-Hopkins and his faceoff performance by season:

  • 2011-12: 37.5 percent
  • 2012-13: 41.0 percent
  • 2013-14: 42.4 percent
  • 2014-15: 45.7 percent
  • 2015-16: 45.4 percent

That’s a pretty steady progression, and one which should continue as Nugent-Hopkins gets older. We’ll likely see similar progressions from McDavid and Draisaitl.

In the meantime, though, it’s probably worth hanging on to a couple of fourth-line guys who can win faceoffs for those must-win draws.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • S cottV

    Unless we go into some immediate win streak that provides realistic hope for the playoffs, I would take this opportunity to give McD and Leon – as much faceoff experience as possible.

    Work it hard in practice and off ice with theory.

    Get linemates heavily involved in the process.

    Sure – at critical times in remaining games, use your veterans when it makes sense, but keep an eye on the need for McD and Leon – to gain this experience.

    I see no reason why both cannot become proficient with reasonable time, training and experience.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      They can get faceoff experience in practise.

      Treat every game as a must win and coach the game as such.

      This is the only way they will get better, losing for the sake of gaining faceoff experience for the young guys should not be acceptable.

      • S cottV

        Under the circumstances – there is a balance.

        There is a balance between short term results and longer term objectives – in all facets of the game.

        I guess you would suggest we hold on to our free agents past the deadline, so we can win a few more games in our quest to not make the playoffs?

        I’m not saying to blow a game with wonton use of rookie centremen on a key faceoff, when they have lost just about every faceoff in the last month.

        Depending on how they are going, whether they appear up to the task, – give them more leeway than might normally be the case.

        • For Pete's Sake!

          You could be right. I am just so tired of all the losing and the loser mentality.

          Even this year they think it is ok to lose by one goal. Losing by one goal just seems to give the message that it is ok to lose. At the end of the day they still lost, it should not be acceptable.

          I posted before it is not ok to trade away a useful free agent without signing another, no more late round draft picks for a NHL player for me

          If they let go of a free agent because they cant sign him they at least need to replace him with the same experience and skills.

          Last year they traded Petry and signed Sekera which was ok to me.

          This year if they don’t re-sign Purcell they need to replace him with a NHL player with the same experience and skills, but preferably a defenseman.

  • S cottV

    Oilers Nation, for one day we must forget all that is wrong with the Oilers. It is time to Unite and welcome back Connor McDavid.

    We all may disagree on many things including the core, trades, and management. But we need to realize this:
    WE HAVE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NHL FOR THE NEXT 15 YEARS.

    So perhaps we should just sit back, and enjoy the ride!

  • dsanchez1973

    It’s very conceivable that this is a pure example of overcoaching. Let’s take your stat that an extra 100 face off wins in a zone is worth 2.5 goals in one direction or the other. The Oilers, based on that chart, have had approximately 1000 face offs in each zone.

    Based on what you’re saying, McLellan has juggled lines, and done all kinds of re-arranging to maximize the number of draws his best guys are taking. If you think of it like this:

    Young/Skilled/Bad at faceoffs (Nuge/McD/Drai): 412 dzone – 456 ozone

    Experienced/Cantscore/Good at faceoffs (Lander/Letestu/Hendricks): 594 dzone – 510 ozone

    Based on this, the Old guys are taking about 56% of the faceoffs, while the young guns are playing about 34% more per game. So, what if over the course of the first 50 games, faceoffs had been distributed based on ice time?

    There have been 1972 zone based faceoffs. The young guys would have taken 57% of those faceoffs, and let’s say won 45% of them. The old guys would have taken the remaining 43% of faceoffs, and won 55%. As a result, they would have won 972 faceoffs.

    Instead, we have the young guys taking 44% of the faceoffs, and the old guys taking 56% of the faceoffs. As a result (if young guys win at 45% and old guys win at 55%), the Oilers win 1008 faceoffs, an increase of 36 faceoffs over the course of 50 games, worth approximately 0.8 goals.

    I’m all for making positive EV decisions, but I think there’s certainly an argument that constant line changes/matchups/juggling lines for faceoffs will have cost the Oilers more than one potential goal in the first 50 games.The best players are on the ice less and the coaching staff is (frankly) wasting time worrying about something that is super irrelevant and likely not providing any benefit.

    • .

      I like this perspective.

      Though ScottV makes a good point about puck retrieval. Maybe with the Centers, or the line as whole taking more responsibility, their retrieval numbers would improve. At some point they’re going to adjust to rarely having puck time.

  • .

    Jonathan, just a geeked observation on the stacked bar stats (I’m assuming that it was put together by ON.com). The breakdown offers totals per zone –so the bars aren’t to scale in comparing players on their FO zones or totals.

    Put differently, the total length of Letestu’s FOs (691) should not equal the length of McDavid’s FOs (151), but they do. You see a clear example of the distortion created when looking at Hendricks 97 o-zone face-offs, versus Draisaitl’s 164–where Hendo’s 97 bar is 20% larger than Drai’s 164 bar.
    The analytic distortion created is to under-emphasize the reliance on (for example) Letestu in taking offensive draws. ML’s total is 244, which is only 4 less than a McDavid + RNH combo. The percentage-based graphic significantly distorts this fact.
    The simple fix is to provide two graphs: percentage (which is what you have but with the wrong numbers attached) and total, which will show the overall reliance on ML and AL in both the O and D zone draws.
    For example, ML’s and AL’s combined O zone draws (497) are just shy of the other 4 players combined (509), with 20% of those draws coming from Hendicks.

    Regarding the Desjardins analysis on the 100 extra FO wins for 2.5 goals. I wonder if this correlates with PPs (and PKs) or if this is at even strength. Is that known?

  • For Pete's Sake!

    I read an article some time ago that suggested that neutral zone faceoffs were actually MORE important than dzone or ozone draws. I cannot remember where I found the article but the logic made sense: It essentially argued, that whether you win or lose a draw in one of the zones, the advantage remains with the attacking team, even though it might be diminished by losing the faceoff. However, whoever wins a draw in the neutral zone gets to determine possession and zone time, meaning the overall impact on possession numbers are more significant.

    Not sure if they are correct but it makes sense to me. I’d like to see more research on this, Mcellan may have this backwards.

  • G-spot-run

    Not sure if Adam Oates is working but I remember he taught Stoll and others to be a better face off men and he rocked the circle. Another thing that gets me is when Ralphy was coaching here( really should still be here my thinking ) why can they use the power system he had or at least suck it up and get him back with team. The man was good.

    • ziyan94

      Krueger’s powerplay was lethal. He’s not coming back though, he’s the CHAIRMAN of a soccer team/football club now (Southampton FC, they’re a solid team in England)

  • .

    Not sure if I buy the age-related argument.

    A few comparisons:

    In Toews’ first three years in the league, his FOW% numbers were 53.4, 54.7, and 57.3. Bergeron was over 51 in his 2nd year, and Crosby was at 51.4 by year 3. Kesler was over 53 by year 4.

    While his numbers have improved, RHN is in his 5th season and hasn’t come close to 50%. Interestingly, Henrik Sedin’s numbers are similar to RHN: last year he was at 44.9 and this year he’s at 46. Sedin has had only 2 seasons in his career when he’s broken 51%.

  • For Pete's Sake!

    I suspect the organization is about to part company with Yak. Just a feeling, but he seems to be the odd man out.

    Off subject tho is the news that Schultz is not playing due to ‘illness.’ Could this be a smoke screen for a trade?

      • *Writes an article on the terrible defence and/or managerial incompetence*
      • Reaction: “Geez, I’m so sick about hearing this stuff. We’ve been whining about the defence for a decade. We get it, it sucks, talk about something else.
      • *Writes an article on a different topic*
      • Reaction: “Geez, that’s so pointless. Why don’t you talk about the real reason we’ve missed the playoffs for a decade?”

      I guess it’s all McDavid, all the time from now on.

  • For Pete's Sake!

    I’ve always thought that winning the faceoffs is a bit overated. Wayne Gretzky was terrible at faceoffs his whole career and it never slowed him down.

    More important is how good your team is at getting the puck back if the faceoff is lost. Our team hasn’t been good at that for ages. Too many guys who are too soft on the puck.

    I hope that changes soon. We need more guys who are hard and aggressive on the puck after a faceoff is lost to regain possession. Take note Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Teddy Purcell, Mark Fayne, Benoit Pouliot etc. …

    • S cottV

      Probably a little more important than you think.

      It doesn’t take much time and energy before a given line, is close to be needing a change.

      You lose too many faceoffs and or turn the puck over needlessly and it’s usually 20 seconds and lost territory – minimum, even with a great effort to get it back.

      You get it back and advance the puck and now we are 40 seconds in. Time to change.

      As a coach, you hate watching your high end talent running all over the place – trying to gain possession.

      Being a smaller rush oriented team – the Oilers waste way too much time losing possession and trying to get it back again.

      As a comparison – Kings hockey is gain possession and keep possession. They are built for moving it north and keeping it north. Wearing you down and putting it in the back of your net.

      Money hockey.

      Better not lose too many faceoffs against those guys.

      • For Pete's Sake!

        That’s true. And Gretzky did have Mess around to take many crucial faceoffs. But even a great faceoff man loses faceoffs about 50% of the time, so getting the puck back is also crucial.

        The Oilers just have to get better at it.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      Totally disagree. Nuge is a way better skater and passer than Richards.

      Smaller offensively minded centremen can become great faceoff men. Stan Mikita and Adam Oates were two of the greatest faceoff men ever.

      To me, Nuge is more like a poor man’s Adam Oates, if he ever learns to get better at faceoffs. He can do it. He’s a smart kid and he usually works hard.

      Maybe he should hire Oates to coach him in the off season like Teddy Purcell did last year. That could do wonders for him in the faceoff circle.

      • S cottV

        Nuge doesnt need Oates and his BS…he will light it up once Halls possesion hogging arse is down the road.Which should be soon.

        Any good Coach would be doing the things Oates claims to do so well….enough of the Adam Oates salesmanship please.He bring vey little to the table now ok.One Dellow is enough and it seems like Dellow and his Cabal and Oates are tied together as the hacks who keep pushing Oates here and on a select few other sites are proving.

        NHS just sent an advisory to EVERY NHL TEAM about the dangers of online hustlers OUTLINING how they do the things they do using advanced/enhanced stats and online blogging/MSM/NHL Broadcasters influences.Its a perspective thing and you may thank Adam Oates and his online salesforce here on ON that irked me led by Greger for the registered letters and Tactical Dynamic Templates illustrating the MULTIPLE CONCURENTLY RUNNING con-jobs historiclly and currently being pulled ,I got sick of seeing this crap pulled on NHL Teams….LMAO.

        • For Pete's Sake!

          Adam Oates was one of the best faceoff men ever. He was a smaller player and a great passer like Nuge. He’s not just some blogger trying to sell something.

          Winning faceoffs is obviously something you learn. I can’t think of a much better teacher for Nuge than Adam Oates. But thanks for your thoughts, genius.

          • .

            Don’t forget about recent faceoff changes in NHL Rule 76.4:

            “When the face-off takes place at any of the nine face-off spots, the players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand squarely facing their opponent’s end of the rink, and clear of the ice markings (where applicable). The sticks of both players facing-off shall have the blade on the ice, within the designated white area. At the eight face-off spots (excluding center ice face-off spot), the defending player shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed immediately by the attacking player. When the face-off is conducted at the center ice face-off spot, the visiting player shall place his stick on the ice first.”

            Looks like we need to also breakout home vs. away games as well as figure out how to adjust the 2015-2016 season to be comparable to all prior years. Piece of cake!

          • S cottV

            Adam Oates is no Wayne Gretzky and Wayne didnt exactly knock us dead with his Management cumen or in his skills at ,passing on his NHL acumen via teaching ,so dont try to sell anyone on his old NHL credentials ok? Pat Quinn in 2009 was using the philosophies concepts tactics and management protocals Adam Oates and others are tailwinding and pirating today…do your homework or bite your tongue ok?….and Movie Stars shoplift there slappy….and for as long as Oates is connected to the Cabal he is currently being promoted by he will be viewed as one of them…he has the choice to distance himself but he does not do this so as Gregor and his boys go, goes so goes Adam….you may put that in your pipe and smoke it along with whatever brand of tobacco you are burning along with the midnight oil it took you to come up with this lame reply.

            I believe Adam at one time could have been a good teacher for Nuge or anyone else but the second he started deying Industry recognition to and feeding off the NHS and informally joining or unknowingly being recruited{not unknowing anymore huh…lol}into the Cabal and began using his NHL legacy as a shield and as a way to validate his pirating indirect or not ….well he lost my respect by not stepping up and having the guts to say where he has been getting his impetus…you may stuff your storyline because Adam Oates has a very public profile and it is clearly documented as are any and all “innovations” he has come up with….the day he involved himself with the advanced/enhanced stats Cabal he ruined himself….if he stops drops and rolls now maybe he can save some of his reputation.

            The NHS poduces SIGNATURE IMPACTS AND STATISTICAL PATTERNING…..so smarten up….the advanced/enhanced stats con-jobs and their fiscally driven Stakeholder group are not “Out of the Woods and in the clear yet”.LOL.

            My thoughts werent for you slappy……they were for the Oilers and NHL and have been online helping players sucessfully do what guys like Adam and the advanced/enhanced stats pirates are claiming credit for for almost a documented decade.

            Yup @ one time before he joined the Dellow Debacle Adam would have been my choice to step in and help out….but not anymore under these circumstances.I am not sure if adam knows who he is dealing with and where they got their data because Adam sure as heck doesnt need them …but they sure needed his NHL Legacy to “launder” the NHS and not get busted….although of course they already were before they possibly unknowingly recruited Adam…sounds like Dellow to me.Bushleague and amature,very close to what they did with Eakins using him to penetrate the Oilers Dupa and gain acess to the entire NHL by proxy of decietfull artificially supported{K-Blowe}Industry recognition.Very dangerous territory to tread on.

            Look up Autodidactic and imagine what a laptop gives a person with this skillset when they spend a few days reading up on Industry Collusion….lol….just shut up and google Autodidactic I am not arguing with some moron,it was tiring when I was an athlete but there was a reasonable payback and its even worse with sports fans when there is little to no payoff….and yes its easy to knock down 148+ on IQ tests including Mensa tests of different styles….but personally I dont think IQ numbers mean jack squat so just be quite and google ok slappy?Snide remarks about geniuses as if its a big dealio make you look stupid ok?

            BTW you should be carefull whom you support…Adam used to be a top Faceoff man….but judging by his business partners laely he hasnt been follwing any type of Championship direction since he retired.

  • AJ88

    “HOW DOES TODD MCLELLAN KEEP HIS LOUSY FACEOFF GUYS FROM HURTING THE OILERS”

    Easy, don’t play them, let Lander, Letestu and Hendricks become #1,2,3 centers on the Oilers. WHAT A RIDCULOUS ARTICLE!!!

    • Spydyr

      I sure hope they don’t trade them at the deadline. Most teams do not want to give up NHL players at that point in time. The summer would be a much better time to make that deal.

    • .

      He is likely planning on how many goals Nuge and Ebbs will be scoring eating up all of the possesions Hall USED TO MONOPOLISE….lol…because Halls All-Star appearance was the Kiss of Death and he is toaster struedel….gone baby gone…so all you boot licking Hall lovers better get ready to see Hallsy spooling his rags ….LMAO…and taking his locker room side-show somewhere else….and now Oiler fans can watch his slow-draging-foot as he falls all over himself from the other side of the fence….to many hard contacts for Hallsy that one foot just cant keep up ,lol,suppose no one noticed huh?this IS ASO THE GUY who had a ripped up body he HID from the Oilers before the draft right?

      IMHO Hall should have been traded in 2013.

      But hes worth even more now …so PC…you know the drill…..bring us back the big strong fighting LW we need to round out our top 9 and his name is Benn.

      http://www2.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?ID=10464

      G\GP…..@.36

      A\GP…..@.71

      Just simply look at the chart and ask yourself which of these numbers dont look like all of the others….then think about how and why this could be…..looks like a big fat possesion HOG with 2 inches of lipstick called “KBLOWE-RED” smeared on him.

      This is how you can see Hall was “groomed” as an asset by feeding him all of the possesions Nugey and Ebbs and others SHOULD have been sharing in…..just look at how few goals he scores and how many assistst he has….this is because he is A PUCK POSSESION HOG VIA COACHING who does not execute at a high enough level but still owns the pucks .

      THIS is where the Oilers have been bleeding offense and goals from….blame management for pushing him up to the top on the backs of his linemates to optimise his value.He IS NOT GETTING ANY BETTER WITHOUT NHS HELP and that is not on the horizon.

      Better trade him before opponents clue in there PC….like soon ….lol…you are welcome…nothing like basic simple stats combined with an in-depth knowledge of the Players to see things clearly huh?

      You would think that with a .71 assist volume Hall would be a Natural to fit in with Nail Yakupov right???lol…well forget it because the Taylor Hall Train doesnt play well with others who will not clean up his garbage like Nuge and ebbs have been doing.

      Nugey should be managing those possesion not Hall….and this is an OLD ARGUEMENT ,and the advanced stats idiots fed the Oilers so much crap they would not listen to the NHS.

      Hey Dellow…Fee…theres a lot more where that came from…..lol.

      @HardBoiledOil 1.0….see what I did there?LMAO.

      This is why the Oilers have sucked for so long IMHO…..stupidity…and support of the advanced stats con-jobs …they dont even look at basic numbers because traditional stats actually EXPOSE THEIR POOR DECISION MAKING and illustrate where they are using “advanced/enhanced stats” and are …lol…conning everyone.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Off topic but I really enjoyed the ASG.

    I would like the NHL to have the fans vote on the “unsung Hero” and have him attend the ASG.

    Someone like Matt Hendrix would qualify.

    It would take the emphasis off the stars who think they are too good to attend like Crosby

    • S cottV

      Blah BLAH blah, New Age System is the only way to go, jargon, BLAH BLAH blah blah, I’m a genius, blah blah BLAH.

      This comment has been edited for clarity. JW.

      • S cottV

        Thats right Willis….you just keep on deleting and”editing” NHS data….you are by far the worst writer on this site and if ON was smart they would have punted you long ago,for the fire and brimsone you are bringing down on them which hasnt even begun to fall yet.All data-pirates will be remediated and held accountable.Officially or un-officially….I dont care which side of the coin falls on you ….LMAO.

        You and your fiscally driven Stakeholders Group group of Bloggers/ advanced/enhanced stats Salesmen/MSM Writers working for Major outlets/NHL Industry Hucksters/ and various other con-jobs are about to learn a little something about winning and your days playing data-pirate are numbered Willis,you better pray your legal advice was on target a decade ago before precedents were set , and IMHO it was far from so,ON was not intended to be a tactical arm of your little Cabal but now they stand exactly as such in the eyes of history unless they seperate from you with emphasis and show they were not complicit, every single NHL team has been sent a registered letter containing a Tactical Dynamic Template of what you and you little Cabal have been doing to their Industry……they are ALL COMING NOW ….everyone.

        He Adam Oates….did I mention to you yet to stay clear?Methinks I did.I was doing you a favor.

        Rumor has it at least one 3-Lettered Entity with a hella lot more juice than Katz is asking interesting Industry related questions.Use you imagination slappy and keep deleting data under false pretenses…its your party now after all.

        You are on a lot of peoples happy lists Willis for all of the outstanding work you have done pushing the advanced/enhanced stats project forward ,you are well known as an Industry leader in this area and you can be sure we will never ever let the world forget just the keystone role you have played in poisoning the entire NHL…..LMAO….nowhere to hide now….lol.

        As I said before you deleted or likely simply pirated my post, the ASG was a flat-out embarrasment and how social media and MSM and Bloggers worked together to disrespect the history and tradition of the National Hockey League by putting Scott where he didnt belong was the perfect example of the exact methods used by the advanced/enhanced stats multi-Industry fiscally Driven Stakeholders group who disrespectfully pimped out the Edmonton Oilers and used them as a conduit to drive their advanced stats poisions directly into the bloodstream of the entire NHL Industry damaging and holding back the evolution of the entire Industry.

        Hey Slappy….didnt you realise that the “gifting” of sample sizes of NHS data to everyone meant it “belonged” to the entire NHL did you huh? And that after 4 consecutive Stanley Cups were won with it and after it helped only a few select teams evolve the NHL because of the Industry collusion of a fiscally driven Stakeholder Group ,that 20-some NHL Teams might be a little upset at the fiscally driven stakeholder group who artificially engineered their being “frozen out” of something they had every right to be taking an active part in?

        The ultimate irony is that Traditional Stats which is what the advanced/enhanced stats thieves bastardised will now expose disenfranchise and indict them as the Industry crippeling Pirates they are.

        Dont worry Willis these posts are all backed up,and have been for over 8 years.You jus keep doing as you do ok?…LMAO.

        How did you like me dropping Pat Quinn on you after SEVEN YEARS OF HOLDING IT BACK and letting you keep looping rope around your silly necks huh? Do you see what we did there now Slappy?

        In case you havent figured it out now Katz can simply square up with Moma2 and the NHS for services rendered since 2009 when Mr.Quinn entered into a defacto business relationship wih the NHS agreed upon by both parties by proxy which is sill a going concern , and leave you all swinging in the wind to answer to an entire Industry?DO YOU SEE WHAT WE DID THERE SLAPPY?The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  • .

    Faceoffs are important, don’t get me wrong, but the difference between a 45% guy and 55% is 10, which means out of 100 faceoffs, thats 10 extra wins. To hit that 100 extra offensive faceoffs to equal 2.5 goals, those two would have to take 1000 offensive zone faceoffs or conversely 1000 defensive zone faceoffs using the same logic. Now, the top ten used faceoff men in league take roughly 25 draws per game. All else being equal (assuming no preferential treatment) which means 8.3 faceoffs per game would be offensive zone draws, which means that’s an extra 2.5 goals per 120 games (a year and a half). With the amount of time spent focusing on faceoffs, we’re really talking about very little.

    If you take the same logic and apply it to both the offensive and defensive zone draws simultaneously, that’s roughly 16.6 faceoffs per game that are end zone draws, and thus 60 games of combine offensive and defensive zone faceoffs assuming no preferential treatment to equal 2.5 goals. Per 60 games we’re talking about 2.5 goals difference for having a guy who is 55% vs a 45% guy with no sheltering.

    I think we have bigger issues to deal with. i.e. icing an actual NHL D core. For me, i’d say faceoffs are probably the 3rd or 4th most important element in being a quality NHL pivot.

    • S cottV

      Faceoffs are overrated now because the NHL screwed with the core value drivers of NHL hockey by removing A MASSIVE VOLUME of Face-offs from the game,I emember watching a WAY MORE EXCITING AND OFFENSIVE NHL GAME when there were more faceoffs and less N/S 200 foot rushes…..the NHL screwed the pooch because they though supporting RIVER HOCKEY AND THE 200 FOOT BACK AND FORTH GAME with more possesion changes catalysed by less faceoffs would speed up the game caalysing a higher VOLUME of possesion changes and would by proxy create more goals and offense….but the morons forgot they blew up the goalies equipment making those puck-rushing free-flow playactions essentially like peeing into the wind…useless… lol….and that every faceoff IS A POSSESION CHANGE by PROXY and it provides a static beginning for OFFENSIVE TACTICS IN THE OFFENSIVE ZONES….this is so dam simple it is pitifull and only the illusionary and excusatory advanced/enhanced stats focuses could come up with a core value DISCONNECT which is so regressively retarded.

  • S cottV

    Lander 24 total of 180 games vs. Letestu 30 and 368 games, Hendricks 34 years old total of 448 games played, point is Lander is no Vet and if you minus the 56 games he played as a rookie when he should have been in the minors that a whole 134 games which is like a season and a half of play time this does not mean veterans not even close.

    • Spydyr

      Very astute observation.

      Thank you for that perspective adjustment.

      Anton has a lot to offer and has the type of leadership pedigree every team needs in spades.