The importance of a faceoffs/having a faceoff specialist
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05-09-2012, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Originally Posted by
You definitely don't need a faceoff specialist, but of course, being strong at faceoffs is a nice skill. I think the interest at the trade deadline for faceoff specialists was mainly to upgrade our bottom-6, namely John Mitchell. Gaustad certainly would've been an upgrade, but the speculated price on this board was a 3rd + mid-level prospect or a 2nd at best. I still think he would've been a good upgrade, as we were manhandled in the FO in the Senators series and a 60/40 or more swing definitely makes a difference, but I think noone was ready to give up a first for him. And rightfully so.
I wonder how hard this skill is worked on at practice? It seems like something you would be able to improve on if you put your mind to it. If I am a bottom 6 NHL forward (Ala Mitchell), I'd be taking 100 draws after practice every day to make myself more valuable.
That said, the Rangers have gotten progressively better at it as the playoffs have gone on so I think this has become a moot point.
Faceoff wins on specialty teams are huge. You can save yourself 30-40 seconds of PP time by winning a draw clean in the offensive zone vs having to start all over.
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