The Little Things: Faceoffs

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The Little Things: Faceoffs

Postby NIN on Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:12 pm

The little things add up to wins. This season, the Pens are doing everything they can to change the outcome of the game in their favor. It starts at the dots where Sid has improved upon last seasons late success into the teams elite draw-man.

Last season Sid took 23.9% of the teams total faceoffs and won 45.5% of them. Not too bad for a rookie, he made drastic improvements halfway through the season. This season he has taken 34.4% of the draws and has won a stellar 53.1% of them. As a team, the Penguins were far and away the leagues worst last season at 45.9%. This season the team is at 46.7%, good enough for 27th place in the league (FYI:50% gets you into the middle of the pack).

Most of last seasons centers have moved on or are playing elsewhere (Endicott,Lemieux,Christensen, etc..) but two others have returned and this is how they have done so far.

Talbot:
05'-06'=42.9% 06'-07'=52.0%

Malone:
05'-06'=39.6% 06'-07'=34.8%

Obviously Max has only played 2 games, but he has shown signs of upgrading that --very important-- area of his game while Malone continues to prove why he is not an NHL center. The Pens added another rookie drawman (who traditionally get schooled in their first NHL season no matter who they are) and a sophmoore <----witness my scary pun.

Moore:
Percentage of teams faceoffs:05'-06'=(NYR)17.7% 06'-07'=26.2%
Percentage of wins: 05-06'=(NYR)46.3% 06'-07'=52.7%

Staal:
Percentage of teams faceoffs: 06'-07'=17.0%
Percentage of wins: 06'-07'=36.8%

If Staal improves and Crosby, Talbot, and Moore remain consistant. The Pens could end up in the top 10 in the league by the end of the season.

"So what?","Faceoffs are gay!". Consider this: The Edmonton Oilers went from bottom five in faceoffs to top 5. The Canucks went from top 10 to bottom 5. The Oilers got into the playoffs and nearly won the Cup, the Canucks missed the playoffs. They are division rivals.

Trust me, it adds up over the course of the season. In some cases, a little thing like faceoffs can decide who makes the playoffs and who also ran.

In my next addition of "The Little Things" I will take a closer look at Blocked Shots. Ouch.
NIN
 

Postby relantel on Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:32 pm

the pens have had some stellar face-off periods this year - there was a game a couple games ago (Columbus maybe?) where either the 2nd or 3rd period it looked like the Pens could not lose a faceoff.

Their improvement in this department is bound to be one of the supporting reasons for fewer goals against per game so far.
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Postby Brode on Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:38 pm

You'd have to be retarded to think that faceoffs don't matter to an offensive-styled team that had the worst puck possession in the league. Now we are better at faceoffs and our puck possession is making us win games. Last year the Pens would only have little moments of possession, and this year, I don't think people will forget how Gonchar-Recchi-Malkin-Crosby dominated the offensive zone on the powerplay in that OT in New York.
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Postby netwolf on Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:04 pm

Faceoff wins = puck possession. The other team can't score if you have the puck.

Faceoffs are huge for special teams as well. A clean faceoff win on a PK usually results in an easy clear and 15-20 seconds killed. The same on a power play can give you additional attack time.
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Postby eastonpensfan on Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:10 pm

Be careful when discussing Talbot's "improvement". He was bad on faceoffs in WBS this year and that was one of the areas he admitted he was working on. His stats may show that, in the 2 games he played, he played against poor centermen.
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Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:23 pm

Peca played for the Oil last season, which would explain their big jump in faceoff percentage.

Excellent thread, btw.
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Postby NIN on Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:33 pm

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:Peca played for the Oil last season, which would explain their big jump in faceoff percentage.

Excellent thread, btw.


Thanks.

Peca definately helped them but I give most of the credit to Adam Oates who acted as their "faceoff consultant". Smith hired him to show all of their centers his tricks of the trade and they all improved. Of course Oates was only a year or two removed from being a member of the Oilers.
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Postby gruntov on Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:48 am

Good Header, actually information versus BS. :shock: What a country!

Anyone know how Malkin does in faceoffs, as I do expect him to take a few this year?
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Postby NIN on Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:10 am

gruntov wrote:Good Header, actually information versus BS. :shock: What a country!

Anyone know how Malkin does in faceoffs, as I do expect him to take a few this year?


Even Malkin is no exception to the unwritten "rookies get schooled" rule. He has won 12 out of 29 draws for 41.4%.
NIN
 

Postby Mad City Mike on Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:01 am

eastonpensfan wrote:Be careful when discussing Talbot's "improvement". He was bad on faceoffs in WBS this year and that was one of the areas he admitted he was working on. His stats may show that, in the 2 games he played, he played against poor centermen.


New Jersey
vs Rasumssen: 2/2
vs Madden: 0/1
vs Brylin: 0/1
vs Gomez: 3/4

Philly
vs Carter: 0/1
vs Richards: 2/4
vs Umberger: 2/3
vs Forsberg: 3/6
vs Robitaille: 1/3

So against Gomez and Forsberg combined, he was 6/10. That is just what I want, especially considering many of those came shorthanded.
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