The art of the faceoff
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06-03-2013, 02:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: West Edmonton
By no means am I a face-off ace but I have a few tricks and I seem to win more than 60% of my draws (a lot higher if the other centre doesn't really know what he's doing which admittedly is most of the time). Mind you, this is beer league so take that for what it's worth. I've watched a few videos and I remember a few things but it's easier for me to go out and try stuff and see what works.
By the way, I'm a leftie, 5'9 without skates, and use a Hall/Draper curve.
1) Standard back-hand sweep. I just grip where the blade meets the shaft, get in a really low stance, and swat at the puck. Quite often I get the puck before it even hits the ice and still surprise myself everytime. If I don't win it clean I just keep swatting at it. Often, if I miss the initial sweep I'll drop my right knee, blocking the other centres stick and just keep swatting. There's other times where I win it but I don't get enough power on it to get it to my defenceman. If this happens I usually turn my back to the other centre and depending on the initial sweep I might be standing or on one knee or I might only have 1 hand on my stick trying to push it to my defenceman.
2) Other centre lines up like I wrote above. There's a few things I try but the main one is to line up with my stick aiming straight (my blade is pointing towards the middle of his stick), and time it so just as the ref drops the puck you push with your stick forward into his stick. A lot of the times it seems when I do this the puck goes straight behind me to my defenceman so, maybe the other centre is getting a piece of it and knocks it behind me.
3) Other centre lines up like in #1. Do exactly what he does (this only works if you're the opposite hand he is... I think) but instead of sweeping for the puck in the dot, get your stick behind his and "smack" the back of his stick with yours. This prevents him from winning it backwards and because of you hitting his stick, he actually pushes the puck behind you. If he wises up it'll just end up being a draw and it becomes a matter of will & want and not speed and strength.
4) This one is good for centres that don't really try or aren't really good at face-offs. If he lines up with his blade pointing between your legs just wait for the ref to start dropping it and right as he's about to drop it just slap the other centre's stick away and sweep it backwards.
5) I only use this one when I'm on the right side in the defensive zone. Other centre can line up anyway he wants. Grab your stick like your going to take a slap-shot and slide your hands down so your left hand is right where the blade meets the shaft (obviously your right hand will move down with it). Just before the puck hits the ice, take a slap at the puck trying to win it back to the defenceman behind you. If you don't think you can win it straight back just try to smack it into the corner or to the boards. If you smack it to the boards and you don't have a winger there (really defensive alignment) you have to go after it.
6) When in doubt, just tie him up. Use your stick like you would when you try to lift someone's stick to get the puck from them. Aim just above where the blade meets the shaft of the other centre's stick. Push into him and try using your feet to kick the puck to someone or you could try to trap the puck with your feet and just wait for a winger or d-man to come get it.
7) The last one I only use if I know the other centre is going to try and push it through my legs, a rare occasion for the most part. Although, in saying that, there are centre's out there that only do that move. Anyway, I won't even try for the puck. I'll make a 90 degree angle with my skates when the ref drops the puck and the puck always ends up in between them. There was another part of this that worked really well but I can't for the life of me remember it.
Last edited by Recast: 06-03-2013 at
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