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Penguins One-Timers: The Real Importance of Faceoffs (PHN+)



Pittsburgh penguins Evgeni Malkin

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem, especially in the game of hockey. On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins were outskated, outworked and thoroughly run out of the Scotiabank Arena by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Of course, that was two days after the Penguins skated Toronto straight out of PPG Paints Arena.

Three Toronto goals were scored directly off faceoffs in the Penguins 4-0 loss. That’s a seriously high number of faceoff plays converted to goals.

However, while many are seizing on the immediacy of winning the draw, that is only the start of the story and it is important to understand the rest…of the story (Paul Harvey reference).

“(Faceoffs) are an important part of the game. What was discouraging is we won a couple of draws but we didn’t get the puck out because we didn’t execute. So, we put ourselves in a position to have to take more,” Mike Sullivan steamed after the Thursday night loss.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.