Intel: Faceoff edge gone in 11 seconds
Conventional wisdom says dominating faceoffs gives you an edge. Not exactly.
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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2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
The Stanley Cup playoffs kick off Wednesday. Scott Burnside, Pierre LeBrun and the rest of our NHL team preview the first round: