Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Kings of the faceoff dot

Faceoffs are really an under-rated aspect of hockey. Puck possession is key for any team, as the club that has the puck the most in a game is often the winner. That said, it's interesting to note, after 25 or so games, which teams are the kings of the faceoff dot.

The NHL's top faceoff teams
[top faceoff man and his NHL rank in (brackets); top ten teams in standings in bold, bottom ten in italics]
  1. Edmonton, 56.2 (Stoll, 2)
  2. Boston, 53.7 (Bergeron, 13)
  3. Nashville, 53.4 (Perreault, 5)
  4. Carolina, 52.5 (Brind'Amour, 3)
  5. Detroit, 51.4 (Yzerman, 37)
  6. Anaheim, 51.3 (Pahlsson, 26)
  7. Washington, 51.2 (Halpern, 26)
  8. Tampa Bay, 51.2 (Prospal, 17)
  9. Buffalo, 50.8 (Drury, 9)
  10. Philadelphia, 50.7 (Handzus, 26)
  11. St. Louis, 50.6 (Sillinger, 6)
  12. Los Angeles, 50.5 (Cammalleri, 3)
  13. Minnesota, 50.5 (Chouinard, 17)
  14. Calgary, 50.2 (McCarty, 6)
  15. Ottawa, 50.2 (Vermette, 44)
  16. Toronto, 50.1 (Wellwood, 37)
  17. Florida, 49.2 (Nieuwendyk, 13)
  18. Columbus, 49.2 (Hartigan, 13)
  19. Atlanta, 49.1 (Holik, 9)
  20. Montreal, 48.8 (Koivu & Plekanec, 53)
  21. New Jersey, 48.8 (Gomez, 44)
  22. NY Rangers, 48.5 (Rucchin, 131)
  23. Dallas, 48.4 (Betts, 13)
  24. Colorado, 48.0 (McLean, 37)
  25. San Jose, 48.0 (J. Thornton & Smith, 44)
  26. Phoenix, 48.1 (Lundmark, 1)
  27. Chicago, 47.6 (Lapointe, 6)
  28. Vancouver, 47.3 (H. Sedin, 82)
  29. NY Islanders, 47.2 (Satan, 37)
  30. Pittsburgh, 47.2 (Lemieux, 26)
A couple of these guys don't have a ton of faceoffs taken (the minimum was 40, I think), but there are some interesting names here nonetheless. How about the old men, with Yzerman and Lemieux as still two of the best? Or young, finesse type players like Stoll, Wellwood and Bergeron?

Brind'Amour leads the NHL with 383 wins in just 22 games, more than 17 a game. If you watch a Hurricanes game closely, you'll often see coach Peter Laviolette sub the veteran centreman in to take a draw. Amazingly, he's taken 42.2 per cent of the team's faceoffs, more than six per cent better than the second-place player (Halpern, 36.1).

These are the kind of stats that should really come into play for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, an honour Brind'Amour should be the frontrunner for despite the fact he's been battling a groin problem the past month. He averages 24 minutes a game, 4:18 of which comes while shorthanded, and plays a shutdown role every night, freeing up a guy like Eric Staal to score the pretty goals he's becoming known for.

Plus the guy's an absolute beast. Take that Dick Pound.

5 Comments:

At 12:16 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger sacamano said...

Lord knows I love Stoll, but it might be a bit of a stretch to call him a finesse player.

 
At 4:00 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

One thing I touched on before and argued with Daryl Shilling is that faceoffs do not correspond with winning. Look at the table you made. You have top teams everywhere in the table. Winning a single faceoff can be key, but a team's overall percentage just never correlates strongly with a winning club. Perhaps it is something that can be studied at a later date.

 
At 5:19 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger Grampapinhead said...

I don't quite agree with you Jes, 5 of the top 10 in faceoffs are in the top 10 in standings. Although it is a nice study, what is still unknown is what part of the season and against which teams the faceoffs were won.

And what exactly is the meaning of stats ? Detroit and Nashville will never be facing off against Ottawa, Montreal or Buffalo, yet all these teams are in the top 10, for faceoffs.

 
At 7:11 PM, December 06, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Sack,

I just remember Stoll potting all those goals with Kootenay when I was back in B.C. I suppose he also ran guys over, but you can have both, can't you?

 
At 2:27 AM, December 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow all of you are confused on who's the best faceoff man in the NHL... It's YANIC PERREAULT!! EVERY TRUE HOCKEY FAN KNOWS THAT..HE'S LED THE NHL IN THE PAST 4-5 SEASONS...THE ONLY REASON HE IS NOT NOTICED IS DUE TO HIS SOFT STANCE ON DEFENSE

 

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