What measures do you guys think should be taken to address our poor faceoff percentage, if any?
Let's say, hypothetically (hopefully) that Drury is not on the team next season. Prospal and Christensen are maybes. That leaves Boyle, Stepan and Anisimov (who can possibly improve) down the middle and Dubi (who is our only guy over 50%, and barely) as our go-to guy. Richards seems like a decent faceoff guy but may not be the most defensively minded forward out there.
Now I'm not saying we need to go out and get a defensive zone faceoff "specialist" but something has got to break here. All season long there was really no confidence in the faceoff circle outside of Drury (who I like but needs to go).
I'm going to go ahead and pencil in Richards on our roster. As was mentioned elsewhere, Anisimov is movable for the right goal scoring winger. So, for all intents and purposes, we may have an opening at 4c. Ok.
The faceoff problem impacts more than just our defense. As it is right now we rarely actually have a 2:00 minute power play since you can write off at least the first 30 seconds to an offensive zone faceoff loss and than difficulties clearing the neutral zone again.
There's no reason for Boyle to be as poor at faceoffs as he is. The coaches should take the stick out of his hands in practice and force him to win faceoffs purely with his body and his skates. Dubi is good and I think we'll see him taking faceoffs much more regularly next season, especially if we don't bring in a specialist and we lose Prospal.