Commentary

Intel: Faceoff edge gone in 11 seconds

Conventional wisdom says dominating faceoffs gives you an edge. Not exactly.

Originally Published: April 23, 2009
By Timo Seppa | Puck Prospectus
Marc Savard &  Glen MetropolitSteve Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesWinning faceoffs may not be quite the advantage many think it to be.

Early in the first period, the Penguins line up a formidable unit for their first power play, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang and Sergei Gonchar. Although Crosby (51.3 percent regular-season faceoff percentage) is tossed from the offensive zone draw, Malkin (42.4 percent) manages to win the faceoff from Jeff Carter (48.3 percent in the circle). The Pens gain possession, move the puck and Crosby puts home the rebound off a Malkin slap shot. Pittsburgh leads Game 1, 1-0. Elapsed time from faceoff win to goal: 15 seconds.

That sounds like a typical scenario describing the advantages of winning an offensive zone faceoff in the playoffs. In truth, it's the exception to the rule.

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