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05-09-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by evilllempire View Post
there have been many goals we have given up this Playoffs because of a lost faceoff. You mentioned one......Ovechkin's game winner in Game 2 is another (off a Boyle loss). Faceoffs and the ability to win them and control the puck is even more crucial and magnified in the Playoffs, essential because all the teams are so close. All the games are so tight, that little things such as winning a draw can be the difference (ie. Mitchell to Staal's game winner). We clearly lack in this department. Lose a F/O in our own zone....puck goes back to the opposing point, and we are chasing for 15-20 seconds (or more), exhausting ourselves in our zone.
As Maloney pointed out in the postgame (which Al got pissed about), Mitchell didn't even win that faceoff initially but he gathered the puck and got it back. And that's the point...the faceoff is just one piece of it. That goal was a combination of "little things"...what if Mitchell didn't bank that pass back to Staal to get him drifting into the middle of the zone? What if he fired it off a split second earlier or later? What if Anisimov was positioned a little differently providing the screen? What if the defenders were positioned slightly better? Etc. The faceoff is just the easiest thing to point at. It's easy to say "winning more faceoffs is key" but as someone said, an individual faceoff between two experienced guys is little more than a coin flip.

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