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How can we get better in the faceoff circle?

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01-01-2011, 10:05 PM
  #1
RangerFan10
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How can we get better in the faceoff circle?

It's clear this is a huge offensive handicap we've got. I think it played a huge part in the Rangers not sustaining any offensive pressure tonight against Tampa Bay.

Is it just the guys taking the draw? Are the wingers not helping enough?

The only thing I could see helping this in-house is attempting to get Drury more involved in the offense. Whether or not that's feasible or a realistic option has yet to be seen.

Is there anyone on the trade market that can help? A possible bottom 6 swap for an Eric Belanger type guy? You can start scratching Avery or ship Weise back down to the minors if you bring in another faceoff man.

Ideally, I think a third line center that can add to offense on special teams is what we're realistically in the market for.

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01-01-2011, 10:07 PM
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Its been a problem all year long, thats for sure.

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01-01-2011, 10:24 PM
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OverTheCap
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I'm not sure what can be done, because it's Anisimov and Stepan that struggle the most, and it's not like they are going to be converted to wingers anytime in the near future. Young centers often have a hard time with faceoffs so we may just have to be patient.

As our two top 6 centers right now, it is crucial that Anisimov and Stepan work on improving their faceoff percentages. I assume it is something they are focusing on at practice. I was hoping Anisimov would be a little better on faceoffs this season since it's his second year in the league but that doesn't seem to be the case.

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01-01-2011, 11:05 PM
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I was jokingly about to say that getting that guy from Dallas is the answer and then found that he is at just slightly better than 49%. Marginally higher than Dubinsky and Boyle. Granted, faceoff wins are not why there is all the buzz about Richards.

Good question. I've often wondered what kind of improvement might be possible.
NYR is 28th in the league at about 45%, so just think of what an improvement of 5% to the middle of the pack would bring.

Maybe proficiency in the faceoff dot can be improved through focussed practice. I wonder if there are any coaches or specialists who work on that, or if it's just a case of patience and waiting for improvement.
I liked that move by Dubi tonight going forward with the puck and getting it to Gaborik at point blank range for what I thought was the best missed opportunity of the night for the Rangers. Maybe a year ago, Dubi would never have been able to contemplate, never mind execute that play.

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01-01-2011, 11:17 PM
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Stepan, AA, and Boyle should naturally improve with experience.

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01-01-2011, 11:21 PM
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maybe messier can teach them a thing or two

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01-01-2011, 11:22 PM
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Trade for Crosby?

I don't know what it is about faceoffs. I mean, it's not really a skill that some guys are just born with (OK, hand-eye is, but if you're in the NHL you have great hand-eye), so there's really no excuse to be dominated in the circle. I guess strength is a big factor, and obviously AA and Stepan aren't the strongest guys in the league.

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01-02-2011, 12:03 AM
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A few other posters have said it--patience. Stepan, Anisimov and Boyle should all improve over time. They may not ever be "good" face-off guys, but they'll likely improve their current dismal success rates.

I still see Boyle as a winger in the long term, so he may not be an issue.

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01-02-2011, 12:56 AM
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Wasn't Messier helping them with faceoffs at one point this year?

I didn't read through the thread, sorry if it was mentioned before.

They definitely need to improve. Nothing else they can do but just practice on it.

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01-02-2011, 11:27 AM
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Maybe they just need to start getting scrappier about it. Start tieing guys up off the draw and letting the wingers come in. I noticed last night at least we lost way too many draws clean. It'd be another thing if we were losing them after a little bit of a scrum for the puck.

I realize guys will get better over time, but it doesn't seem like it's going to drastically change this season. We've already seen Anisimov and Stepan both moved off face-offs when we need a win, and in many cases for someone not at all known to be a "face-off guy" in Dubinsky.

For Boyle there comes the size advantage too. Proper form includes being pretty low if you're going to win a draw, and at his height it becomes difficult. I agree with the previous poster that sees Boyle as a winger at the end of the day.

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01-02-2011, 12:04 PM
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The answer is Hagelin. Im looking for him to take Drury's role. He is younger, faster, and will bring more energy. The consensus is he is a good faceoff man, although i can not vouch for this as i have only seen him play 5 games (two this year). But he is also a very situational player. He capitalizes on his scoring chances and makes some offense on his own. If the Rangers sign him, he is the third line center of the future. He takes Dru's role when the contract expires, unless Slats buys him out at the end of the year to sign Richards, which is possible but unlikely. He may benefit from some time in the A, but he might not need it.

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01-02-2011, 12:10 PM
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crosby wasnt great at faceoffs untill the last couple of seasons. our guys will get better

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01-02-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devito1192 View Post
crosby wasnt great at faceoffs untill the last couple of seasons. our guys will get better
I couldnt agree more.

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01-02-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Crylanders View Post
The answer is Hagelin. Im looking for him to take Drury's role. He is younger, faster, and will bring more energy. The consensus is he is a good faceoff man, although i can not vouch for this as i have only seen him play 5 games (two this year). But he is also a very situational player. He capitalizes on his scoring chances and makes some offense on his own. If the Rangers sign him, he is the third line center of the future. He takes Dru's role when the contract expires, unless Slats buys him out at the end of the year to sign Richards, which is possible but unlikely. He may benefit from some time in the A, but he might not need it.
What? Hagelin is a winger. He doesn't take face-offs unless the center is thrown out. He has taken 3 FO in Michigan's last 3 games, and lost 2. Not sure what you're talking about here.

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01-02-2011, 12:56 PM
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As somebody said above we need to get scrapper in the circle, guys need to stop trying to win them clean with finese, guys like anisimov and especially Boyle need to start using their size to toe guys up and let wingers go get the puck, we don't so it nearly enough especially in the offensive zone. It creates a big scrum in from on the goalie as well as slowing the game down a bit, also stepan and anisimov will get better with expericence and time.

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