Best Face-Off Men in History

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by sunb, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Who are the best face-off men in NHL history? This questions was born out of the "Life on the Line" thread and the importance of the faceoff is monumental in the dying seconds of a critical game. Who are the best face-off men in your minds?
     
  2. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Nels Stewart was one of the best, and he passed his knowledge on to Teeder Kennedy when he was his coach in junior.

    Stan Mikita, Bobby Clarke and Doug Jarvis were probably the best from the 60s to the 80s.
     
  3. MiamiScreamingEagles

    MiamiScreamingEagles A Fistful of Dollars

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    Stan Mikita was the first name that popped into my mind. Rod Brind'Amour deserves a nod for a contemporary player. I seem to recall an article over the past couple of years that named Yanic Perreault in a vote by players.
     
  4. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    The best faceoff man ever without question was Tommy Two Rivers, who starred in the Northern Labrador Senior League in the 1930's and 40's.

    They say he never lost a draw despite being challenged by faceoff artists throughout North America, including Teeder Kennedy who made a trip up to Labrador one summer to challenge Tommy to a faceoff contest. The two faced off 25 times, and the closest Kennedy came to winning a draw was getting his stick into the circle. Two Rivers was so fast that they say he could turn of the light switch and be in bed under the covers before the light went out. Kennedy was never the same in the faceoff circle after that, his confidence shattered. He often deferred to his linemates to take the draw.

    Two Rivers, nicknamed "The Tempest" was so adept that opposing teams used to put two players against him in the faceoff circle, but to no avail he couldn't be beat.

    Longtime Labrador official Red Novel once noted that Two Rivers was so quick on the draws that 'he'd win facoffs before I had the puck". I'd never touch it."

    Hope that answers your question.
     
  5. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Clarke is the best I've seen during the last 30 years.

    Other dominant face-off men during that time .. Brind'amour, Peca, Nieuwendyk, Lindros, Yzerman, Sundin, Joel Otto, Holik.

    IMO Y. Perreault is the most overrated of the bunch .. if you're too weak defensively to be put on the ice with a face-off in your own end, with under a minute to go, that really negates your value as a top face-off man.
     
  6. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    Bravo! :clap:

    No fair stealing Cool Papa Bell's gimmick.
     
  7. Ludwig Fell Down

    Ludwig Fell Down Registered User

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    I'd add Adam Oates to the list of recent face-off specialists. Great on the draw in general, and won an OT playoff game against Buffalo with a direct shot off of an offensive-zone draw.
     
  8. tape-2-tape

    tape-2-tape Registered User

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    All the Centers mentioned are great on the draw but the greatest I ever saw was Ryan Walter. That guy never lost a key draw against the B's in his whole career as a Hab.
     
  9. V-2 Schneider

    V-2 Schneider Registered User

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    Doug Jarvis.He's on a level above everyone, including the great Mikita and Beliveau.

    Other face off wizards were Bobby Clarke,Joel Otto,Guy Carbonneau,Dave Keon.
     
  10. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    But that doesn't negate the fact that more often then not, he'd beat the men you listed.
     
  11. canucksfan

    canucksfan Registered User

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    Two names come to mind Clarke and Mikita.
     
  12. CareyClutch

    CareyClutch Doing the job

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    guy carbonneau
     
  13. HandshakeLin

    HandshakeLin Now brought to you in glorious Shaw-Scope!

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    What? No one said Ronnie Francis? :confused:
     
  14. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

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    Because I'm not old enough to comment on certain all time greats, I can say that the best faceoff men I have seen play in my life time were Messier, Brinda'mour, Francis, Otto, and Carbonneau in no order
     
  15. BobbyAwe

    BobbyAwe Registered User

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    Derek Sanderson :yo:
     
  16. barfy2000

    barfy2000 Registered User

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    I'm pretty sure Believeau wasn't too bad either....
     
  17. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    You done caught me. ;) Always liked that one
     
  18. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Guy Carbonneau

    Adam Oates
     
  19. Hossa08MVP*

    Hossa08MVP* Guest

    Brind Amour
    Peca
    Rolston
    Modano
    Lindros
    Yashin
    Perrault
    Holik
    Neuwendyk
     
  20. GB

    GB Registered User

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    That's a fair point about Perrault, but the question's only about face-offs, and he has been one of the best in the league for a while.
    I read an interesting comment about Lindros in the late-90's, that even if he didn't win the actual draw he could over-power his opponent and come away with the puck anyway.

    Still though, Adam Oates is the best I've seen.
     
  21. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    my thoughts exactly
     
  22. Hossa08MVP*

    Hossa08MVP* Guest

    steve Yzerman
     
  23. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    How do you figure? If Perreault is winning the defensive draw, his team has the puck, the other team isn't scoring if there's no offensive possession.
     
  24. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Perreault is always near the top of a FW% list, but a list of total faceoff wins sees him well down the list. Since 98-99 he has not been in the top 10 of faceoffs won in any season, peaking at 12th in 01-02, and that is his only time in the top 20, and his 23rd ranking in 02-03 is his only other ranking in the top 30.

    Perreault beats Brind'Amour by a couple of % on FW%, but Brind'Amour has won around 2000 more faceoffs. Perreault is probably better at faceoffs, but the rest of his game pales so he isn't put out for more faceoffs.
     
  25. goldenstatehockey

    goldenstatehockey Registered User

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    I never got to see Sanderson until after he returned from the WHA and he didn't have the same drive/heart for the game.

    I remember Phil Esposito was very good at draws but remember hearing that he couldn't even win a draw against Derek even in practice.

    I would have loved to have seen some games of vintage Sanderson vs. Clarke vs. Mikita matchups.

    Otherwise, it's Mikita at 1A and Clarke at 1B for best faceoff men I've seen.

    DS
     

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