Defensive Zone Faceoffs

I win faceoffs!

The name Gabriel Desjardins may sound familiar to you.  Yes, he’s the writer of Puck Prospectus.  Further, if you’re a frequent reader of the spectacular Lowetide blog, you may have noticed that Lowetide himself often quotes statistics from Gabriel Desjardins.  In a recent article, Garbriel Dejardins made some interesting observations about the “Dangers of Defensive Zone Faceoffs.

Key points:

  1. After winning a defensive zone draw, your team will allow more shots on goal in the next 30 seconds than if you had lost a faceoff in the neutral zone.
  2. Centers with reputations as shutdown players like John Madden, Sami Pahlsson and Rod Brind’Amour were tasked with substantially more draws in the defensive zone.
  3. Clearly most teams know which players have real defensive skills, and know how to deploy their players effectively, which makes it all the more surprising that Manny Malhotra remains unsigned.

From the Copper and Blue article title, “Defensive Zone Faceoffs:  How Much Do they Matter”  by Jonathan Willis:

Only 11% of the Oilers goals against at 5-on-5 came about because of a lost defensive zone faceoff.  That really doesn’t sound like much, until context is considered.  The Oilers as a team took 763 defensive zone draws at even-strength last year, and we know they averaged 47.9% in the circle.  That means that the Oilers lost approximately 398 faceoffs in their own zone at even-strength.

Further, from Desjardins’ data we know that the effects of losing a draw are negligible after about 25 to 30 seconds.  Let’s be conservative and multiply that 398 by 30 seconds – we get 199 minutes of affected ice-time.  If we convert Staples’ 17 GA in 199 minutes into a ratio, we get 5.14 GAON/60 – a goals against number 150% worse than the worst player on the team last year.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s