Jake Gardiner and the other Toronto Maple Leafs
"Sometimes in practice we'll just joke around and go against the centermen and tell them we can beat them," Gardiner said.
"I used to practice all the time, but the
Such is life for NHL
But this season,
"I think you go there and you pretend to act like a centerman," Arizona Coyotes
Faceoffs are one of the most tactical elements in hockey, a chess match played out over a few seconds between players who have spent much of their lives perfecting their craft to win possession of the puck. Key elements are leverage and fast work with sticks. It's no place for bigger
Stricter rule enforcement in the NHL has led to more
Sounds about right.
"It's not something you see all the time," Schenn said. "You see a D-man go in there, you're probably not going to win too many of them."
"They're going to give you a hard time because they know it's not something you do all the time," Calgary Flames
"It's funny that when you get a D-man in, a lot of times those centermen relax and the D-men are all-in," said Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who grew up playing
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning is 6-foot-6 and a Norris Trophy finalist as one of the best
Hedman put his stick down, beat Columbus
"The guys were probably as shocked as I was that I actually won it," Hedman said. "I could probably not do it again. I guess my timing was perfect in that moment."
Call it perfect timing, call it luck or call it whatever you want. New York Islanders
Of course, Boychuk has put "zero" practice time into it and has a simple, albeit ugly, strategy.
"You just tie up," Boychuk said. "Try to tie up, at least, and smack it to the wall. Tell the person that you're going to try to shoot it to."
Or maybe just lose it intentionally, Jake Gardiner suggested, so everyone on your team knows where the puck is going. Because, c'mon, this is probably not going to end well.
"Centermen are so good at faceoffs now, you're probably going to lose it anyway," the Toronto Maple Leafs
Hedman is no faceoff specialist like Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews. And
In 19 NHL seasons, Islanders coach Doug Weight took thousands of faceoffs. But he hadn't thought much about asking
"Later in periods it's so prevalent getting thrown out now that you want guys that can come in and take a draw," Weight said. "The only occasion where we'd have a D is if you're down 4-on-3, 5-on-3. Obviously it's a huge piece of puck possession."
Puck possession? Sure, that'd be great, but most
"I'm mostly just playing not to get beat clean," said Stone, who has spent years practicing against brother Mark, a forward for the Ottawa Senators. "I'm not looking to win a faceoff clean, especially on that kind of a play. You just try not to get beat clean, do whatever you can to kind of push that in the direction of your guys."
Now that Hedman won his first faceoff attempt, he hopes it was his last.
"Hopefully, I don't have to take any more," he said, "so I stay 100
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press