In Eric Stephens' morning rundown for The OC Register today, he glosses over the Ducks' recent faceoff troubles, pointing out that the team is 48.2% in the circle and 25th in the league this season. Accurate assessment of what we should expect from the Ducks?
First things first. The weak link in the Ducks' Top 5 draw men this season is the recently departed Petteri Nokelainen, who went 154-200 (43.5%) in 50 games in an Anaheim sweater. Granted, even subtracting Nokelainen's contribution, the team is only 48.7%, but the remaining Top 5 (Getzlaf, Koivu, Chipchura, Marchant and Carter), whom we'll likely be leaning on down the stretch, are a combined 1475-1510 for 49.4%.
Specifically, their individual faceoff stats are:
And their individual situational stats are:
Compare those numbers to the last three games:
As you can see, Getzlaf, Marchant and Koivu have fallen from their season numbers, a point best illustrated by Selanne's performance against Phoenix on Saturday. The Finnish Flash accounted for all 6 of the "Everyone Else" draws that night, and all 6 were in the offensive zone. Teemu lost only one faceoff to Vernon Fiddler and dominated Lombardi and Hanzal, who shut Koivu down (1 for 8 combined against the two Coyotes centers). Koivu has particularly struggled in the defensive zone: 3 for 6 against Colorado, but 1 for 6 against Phoenix and 1 for 4 against Montreal.
Despite not being a 50% team this year, the Ducks are underperforming what their Top 5 centers have done over the course of the season, especially when you factor out the contribution of former Duck Petteri Nokelainen. It absolutely is a problem, and it's a problem the team is capable of fixing.