Face-offs

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Face-offs

Postby Justin Catanzarite on Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:40 am

Regardless of what anybody says, I think face-offs are a bit overrated. How many games per year does a team win based on face-offs? I suppose that gaining control of the puck and setting up offensively could wear a defense down if you can manage to dump it in and grind it out, but how 'impactful' is such a rare occurence? What I'm getting at... a great face-off man would potentially win us 1 more game, 2 if we're lucky. I would not mind bringing Yanic Perreault in, but I would rather take my chances with stellar defensive-offensemen along with a growing defense to get the puck back and feed it to our stars.
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Postby Jamie on Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:44 am

Faceoffs are important to win. They may be a bit over rated in the statistical sense. But winning faceoffs=puck control. Puck control is crucial for getting it out of your own end, and also for setting up the offense. The more TIOE, the better chance of winning. Winning face offs play a large part of this.
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Postby Jim on Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:49 am

A face-off win should not be counted until a few seconds after the faceoff. Many times you would see a guy "win" a face off, but two seconds later an opposing player has control of the puck. Did he really "win" anything?

The only time I really care about faceoffs are

1. PK wins in the defensive zone
2. PP wins in the offensive zone

Other than that I do not really care.
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Postby DelPen on Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:55 am

Jim wrote:A face-off win should not be counted until a few seconds after the faceoff. Many times you would see a guy "win" a face off, but two seconds later an opposing player has control of the puck. Did he really "win" anything?

The only time I really care about faceoffs are

1. PK wins in the defensive zone
2. PP wins in the offensive zone

Other than that I do not really care.


You forgot winning a faceoff when you have the goalie pulled. I'd say that is the most important time to win a faceoff, followed by the PK. PP is not as important to me because you might lose 20 seconds after the other team dumps it but if your PP is good you can easily reset.
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Re: Face-offs

Postby NIN on Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:32 am

Justin Catanzarite wrote:Regardless of what anybody says, I think face-offs are a bit overrated. How many games per year does a team win based on face-offs? I suppose that gaining control of the puck and setting up offensively could wear a defense down if you can manage to dump it in and grind it out, but how 'impactful' is such a rare occurence? What I'm getting at... a great face-off man would potentially win us 1 more game, 2 if we're lucky. I would not mind bringing Yanic Perreault in, but I would rather take my chances with stellar defensive-offensemen along with a growing defense to get the puck back and feed it to our stars.


Let's take a look at the numbers:

http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/stats?servi ... me=summary

Teams that were ranked in the top half of the league in faceoffs had 50% or better success. The bottom half had under 50%. Out of those bottom 15 teams 7 made the playoffs and Vancouver just missed. Out of the top 15 teams 9 made the playoffs.

That looks to be just about even but let's consider the case of Vancouver and Edmonton. The Oilers barely made the playoffs, they beat out Vancouver by 3 points. They were ranked 2nd overall in faceoffs and the Canucks were ranked 26th. It's safe to assume that if those numbers were reversed the Canucks would have made the playoffs and Edmonton and Roloson would have never got the chance to go on that incredible run.

Faceoffs fall into that "little things" category and the little things make a difference. Especially to marginal teams, little things can make or break a season. The Pens were dead last at 45% so they need to improve in that area if they even want to be considered a middle class team.
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Postby pfim on Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:38 am

I think face offs are incredibly important, but not to be improved at the expense of team speed and defensive positioning. It's something good players should improve at, not necessarily something you acquire in July.
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Postby NIN on Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:44 am

pfim wrote:I think face offs are incredibly important, but not to be improved at the expense of team speed and defensive positioning. It's something good players should improve at, not necessarily something you acquire in July.


Edmonton and Caralina were both top 5 in the league and they were very good in the playoffs too. I don't think I have ever seen a team make it to the finals with poor faceoff skills.
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Re: Face-offs

Postby Jim on Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:50 am

NIN wrote:Let's take a look at the numbers:

http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/stats?servi ... me=summary

Teams that were ranked in the top half of the league in faceoffs had 50% or better success. The bottom half had under 50%. Out of those bottom 15 teams 7 made the playoffs and Vancouver just missed. Out of the top 15 teams 9 made the playoffs.


Cut off the top 3 and bottom two...

Your range is now 48.1%-52%. To you win or loose 2, TWO, more or less out of 100 than going 50/50. Whoopie fricken doooo...

The #4 faceoff team in the league won 52 out of 100.
The #28 faceoff team in the league won 48 out of 100.

zzzzzz....

Faceoffs are only important in certain situations when combined with location. The rest of the time it's nothing more than something for stats people to argue about.
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Postby pfim on Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:51 am

NIN wrote:
pfim wrote:I think face offs are incredibly important, but not to be improved at the expense of team speed and defensive positioning. It's something good players should improve at, not necessarily something you acquire in July.


Edmonton and Caralina were both top 5 in the league and they were very good in the playoffs too. I don't think I have ever seen a team make it to the finals with poor faceoff skills.


That's fine, but has little to do with my point. Rod Brind'Amour didn't come into the league winning 55% of his faceoffs. To acquire a guy like Perreault simply because he wins 60% of his faceoffs is folly. The 40% of the time he loses them he skates around the defensive zone aimlessly, hoping no one notices his team is playing a man down. He can't kill penalties, so he won't be out for any of those faceoffs either (he took 13 SH faceoffs).

If the Pens are to improve in the faceoff cirlce for this season, it will be because a younger guy improved his ability.
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Postby Jim on Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:20 am

Endicott was 51.6% on faceoffs... maybe we should'a kept him... HA!
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Postby relantel on Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:25 am

How many times did we see a face off loss lead directly to a goal against last season? Then recall the most memorable face-off win of the year - Game 81, on the powerplay just inside the offensive zone. LeClair to Crosby to Malone, goal in 6 seconds.

Yes, it is situational, and the broader statistic is irrelavent. It's not even so much as the win/loss of the faceoff as the being out of position on the loss side of things.
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Postby Defence21 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:10 pm

relantel wrote:How many times did we see a face off loss lead directly to a goal against last season? Then recall the most memorable face-off win of the year - Game 81, on the powerplay just inside the offensive zone. LeClair to Crosby to Malone, goal in 6 seconds.

Yes, it is situational, and the broader statistic is irrelavent. It's not even so much as the win/loss of the faceoff as the being out of position on the loss side of things.

You're very true, but the arguement being made is that the difference between the excelletn and horrible is not so large that you would say "whoa!" In fact, you might say "whoa" because they are so close.

I believe it was mentioned that if you eliminate a few guys at the bottom and a few guys at the top, you will see that the rest sit comfortably between 48% and 52%. As mentioned, this is a whopping 4% difference. Pretty insignificant, huh? Think of it this way, which again was mentioned above: For every 100 faceoffs a good center wins 4 more than a bad center. So in reality, faceoff specialists are nice to have but what they offer is nothing that is going to drastically change the events of a season -- maybe one or two games, but not 10 or 15.

And lastly, regarding your example of giving up goals off the faceoff, I think that has more to do with poor goaltending and poor defense than anything. The Penguins win many faceoffs in the opposition's zone, but rarely score. Upon the drop of the puck, everyone should be ready and prepared to get the puck out of the zone ASAP. If they don't, a goal can happen...it's just like any other facet of the game. When the puck is in your zone, get it out. Having a faceoff specialist who can win 4 more draws per hundred or roughly 1 more per game just won't make that much of a difference.
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Postby Ron` on Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:49 pm

relantel wrote:Yes, it is situational, and the broader statistic is irrelavent. It's not even so much as the win/loss of the faceoff as the being out of position on the loss side of things.


You are a winner, Admin give the man a bananna. It's not how many games it lead to winning for you. It's how many games a poor face team loses. That is the real importance of a good faceoff man. Whether your shorthanded, or just in a close game, controlling the faceoff can do wonders for interrupting the other teams offensive flow. Thus preserving the win or preventing a loss. It also allows the team to chance taking faceoffs by freezing the puck if necessary to interrupt the flow. If all goes well you control and get a clear.

It's more the minority case where it results in a bang bang offensive play/edge. Point in case, how many true face off aces put up gawdy point numbers?
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Postby Tinker on Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:53 pm

Winning more faceoffs than you lose certainly helps in the puck possession aspect. Puck possession, and time in the opponent's end are critical, especially in the new NHL because that is when most penalties are called, when the other team has the puck.

Additionally, I would say winning critical faceoffs would be a more telling stat...on PK or PP, in opposing or own zone.

So, winning 4 more faceoffs out of 100 may not seem too big of a deal, but when you consider you are chasing 4 more times than the other team, you can reasonably think that at least 1 of those might lead to a penalty, maybe every other game. Right there, all other things being equal, you are subjecting yourself to 41 more PK situations than PP throughout the year.

In the Pens situation last year, pretty much all 4 of those faceoff losses lead to a penalty each game = 382 more shorthanded situations...

A stretch I know, but my point is that one can either place too little or too much emphasis on faceoffs, but, I don't think I had seen anyone, in the umpteen threads about Perreault, that lead to the losses equating to penalties, so I thought I would throw it out there.
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Re: Face-offs

Postby NIN on Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:28 pm

Jim wrote:
NIN wrote:Let's take a look at the numbers:

http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/stats?servi ... me=summary

Teams that were ranked in the top half of the league in faceoffs had 50% or better success. The bottom half had under 50%. Out of those bottom 15 teams 7 made the playoffs and Vancouver just missed. Out of the top 15 teams 9 made the playoffs.


Cut off the top 3 and bottom two...

Your range is now 48.1%-52%. To you win or loose 2, TWO, more or less out of 100 than going 50/50. Whoopie fricken doooo...

The #4 faceoff team in the league won 52 out of 100.
The #28 faceoff team in the league won 48 out of 100.

zzzzzz....

Faceoffs are only important in certain situations when combined with location. The rest of the time it's nothing more than something for stats people to argue about.




First of all, teams take THOUSANDS of faceoffs over the course of a season. Vancouver lost 497 more faceoffs than Edmonton. Let's say that each win means you controll the puck for 20 seconds. That calculates into 166 minutes of icetime that Vancouver was without the puck because of poor faceoff skill. That's like allowing their opponents to have the puck for 2 1/2 games more than the Oilers allowed their opponents!

Think that might have had something to do with the 3 point differne in the standing between Edm and Van? The fact that Van was 2-6 vs. the Oilers might have alittle bit to do with the Oilers players being so good at draws and the Canucks casucking at it.

So while the differnece in percentage mat be slight, this isn't shooting percentage or winning percentage this is faceoff percentage. Every team took at least 4,000 draws.

Pearrault has a gift, he is blessed with great hadn eye coordination and reflexes. The Canucks should be signing him because he could make a difference overthere. The Pens don't need him. They DO NEED their young centers to take faceoffs seriously because you don't want to feel the way the Canucks did at the end of last season. Realizing that if they would have just tried harder at those faceoffs it might have been them making a run at it.
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