Last week, when examining faceoffs, the focus was on the top 30 faceoff men in the NHL. These faceoff men had a 3.5% increased faceoff success rate at home as compared to the road. In fact, only three of the 30 top faceoff men were more successful on the home in the circle than on the road.
Some of the reasons for success at home as opposed to the road were discussed last week, starting with the edge of putting your stick down after the opposition, as well as the issue of bias amongst home statisticians. Of course, matchups also play a significant factor in those results, and the last change goes a long way for almost every NHL head boss to arrange for the matchup he so desires.
This week, let's take a look at the faceoff ratios for the top faceoff men in the NHL over the past four seasons. The NHL categorizes faceoff leaders each season; generally, there are about 80-85 players that are eligible for this category. While these are the best faceoff men in the NHL, what is maybe most surprising is how many players on the list are actually below 50% overall in the faceoff circle. It is clear that if you can become an exceptional faceoff man in the NHL you can be a very valuable commoditysee Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol.
How did the best faceoff men perform at home and on the road? Take a look at the leaders for the past four seasons: