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IceFrog999

Something that irks me

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Good information, the only thing that I have a problem with is that with 45 seconds left in game 7 against NJ Staal lost a faceoff which was then shot into our end taken by Gleason, moved up to Larose and dished to staal who scored with 30 seconds left to win the game. I know that's just one instance but it is a good one to remember, anyway, I notice that Staal takes a lot of his faceoffs from the forehand and it seems he's really just stabbing at it, I think he should try a backhand approach more often, I don't have numbers but I think he wins more consistently from the backhand, any reason why he wouldn't do this more often?

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Sutter should get better at face-offs as he gains some strength and gets older. He was supposedly very good at face-offs against other junior aged players, he just needs some time to learn how to be effective against stronger players.

Another option could be having Jokinen play on Staal's line and take the face-offs. I don't like the idea of switching Staal to wing as some suggested, but you could have one of his wingers take his face-offs. I remember Sykora taking face-offs for Malkin in the playoffs in 2008 when they played together.

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This might just be my observation, but I've noticed there's a couple ways that players win faceoffs - Use your speed, use your strength, or lock-up the opposing center and wait for help from your wingers.

Now, typically, I see Staal try and use his speed and just try and beat his opposition to the puck and sweep the puck behind him. This sort of style is usually used by the smallish, speedy forwards like Toews or Briere. However, Staal just doesn't have the hands to beat his opposition most of the time, so he ends up swiping ice.

What I'd suggest is that Staal win them like most of the bigger centers (like Thorton or Sakic) seem to do. Rather than use their speed, they use their body. They get their stick down, block the opposing player from the puck with their big frame, and then sweep the stick to their teammates. Staal's got the frame to do this, though I'm not sure if he's got the strength.

The last option (the lock method) also requires strength and wingers that know their job on the faceoff circle. It's not the best method in the world, but it's a nice last resort option.

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Do you have any stats on Staal's face off percentage on the powerplay? We seem to start every PP with a faceoff loss by Staal and a clear. It would seem logical to at least have someone not named Staal take that draw.

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Do you have any stats on Staal's face off percentage on the powerplay? We seem to start every PP with a faceoff loss by Staal and a clear. It would seem logical to at least have someone not named Staal take that draw.
46% on the powerplay (154 for 335).

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46% on the powerplay (154 for 335).

Actually 1% better than his average. Still, why not have Cullen or Ruutu or Jokinen take that draw? Getting that puck at the start of a PP is a high percentage play.

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Actually 1% better than his average. Still, why not have Cullen or Ruutu or Jokinen take that draw? Getting that puck at the start of a PP is a high percentage play.

Yea we used to have Staal at the point on the PP...so not taking the draw. I remember that working ok...at times.

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Actually 1% better than his average. Still, why not have Cullen or Ruutu or Jokinen take that draw? Getting that puck at the start of a PP is a high percentage play.
Agreed completely, but that might disrupt the line combinations that Francis/Maurice want on the PP. If one of those guys were to be on the same PP unit as Staal anyway, then yeah that person should take the face-off.

If we don't sign/acquire anyone, we could move Jokinen up to first line LW and have him take the face-offs at ES as well as PP. He'd also fit pretty good as Staal's playmaking winger.

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Yea we used to have Staal at the point on the PP...so not taking the draw. I remember that working ok...at times.
Yeah. In the '06 Playoffs it was Staal at the right point with Brind'amour at center.

It didn't work the next season as they stupidly moved Staal to the left point where he wasn't as effective. I don't see why we took a LH-shooting sniper and put him on the left point where he couldn't unleash a cross-ice one timer. The powerplay was miserable when we tried it like that.

I wouldn't like to see Staal on the point as I think he's best in front of the net, but I don't want him taking face-offs as we have other guys who are better than him at it. You could have Cullen play the point but line up at center, for instance. Or Jokinen on wing and taking the face-offs. Whatever it is, just please get Staal away from the circle.

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I have to admit I have wondered about this too. Nice stats find, Frog.

I wonder how much (if any) of Brind'Amour's record is due to refs letting him get away with more than usual. I have heard it said that Brindy's "method" is borderline. Would be interesting to know how his % won has progressed over his career. I'm no expert, but it sounds like there is definitely an art to the faceoff that may take time to develop, plus some leeway from refs.

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Interesting statistics.

Not all face-offs are equal though. I would love to see those statistics broken down into further detail. I think our coaching staff is pretty well aware of the problem, and does a good job of inserting key face-off guys at the right time. It would be interesting to see what our win percentage is if you take Brindy out of the equation. You are right, could be a problem in the future. Is face-off winning a teachable thing at the NHL level? Or is it more instinct?

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I'm sure a lot of it is instinct, knowing when the puck's going to be dropped and reacting likewise. But I'm also sure there are some things that can give you an edge in the faceoff circle that Brindamour seems to know and Staal doesn't.

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I'm sure a lot of it is instinct, knowing when the puck's going to be dropped and reacting likewise. But I'm also sure there are some things that can give you an edge in the faceoff circle that Brindamour seems to know and Staal doesn't.

Couldn't agree with you more Frog,,one would think Staal would be all over Rod to teach him his " secrets" so to speak in winning faceoffs.Couldn't ask for a better mentor!

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IceFrog, you and I don't agree on much, but as you know, I've written about this same thing and I'm right there with you. A lot of people complain that I'm "too hard on Staal," but the fact is that this "kid" is no longer a kid and he needs to start producing like JR keeps telling us he can. A BIG part of that is winning faceoffs, and I agree that his best bet would seem to be using his body.

If you really study Brindy's style, he (1) tries to win the puck cleanly while ALSO (2) being sure to tie up his opponent's stick. Then, if the puck is still free, he (3) pivots on one skate and slides the other to the dot, keeping his shoulder low. This puts him right over the puck and closes the other guy out. Without another 20-30 pounds on his frame, Staal won't be consistently successful with this approach, and that's why he's trying to win faceoffs with quickness instead.

Of course, the other argument for him bulking up is what it would do for his presence in front of the net, which is presently sporadic at best. I get extremely frustrated with his constant hanging out below the goal line. No doubt, he has both set up and scored some very pretty goals from back there. But there is one immutable truth in hockey: If you put a big guy in front of the net your chances of putting the biscuit in the basket grow exponentially. Eric is already VERY adept at drawing penalties when he's out in front, and if he were bigger he'd be even more so, because few refs can resist the temptation to blow the whistle when a big player hits the ice in front.

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Jordan Staal's playoff win percentage is just as awful as Eric's. We may be out of luck, it may be genetic. :lol:

You know, MarkyMark, I almost made reference to Jordan's face-off performance in my post! Let's hope they're not practicing against each other in the off season and thinking it's doing either of them any good :)

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