Jan 23, 2024 | Uncategorized


Face-offs serve as a pivotal game element, holding the potential to influence the outcome by a goal or even two. Securing victory in face-offs not only sustains but propels momentum, playing a fundamental role in shaping a triumphant team’s confidence. In this domain, coaches and teams can gain a significant advantage, irrespective of skill or size, through meticulous preparation and cohesive teamwork. Precision in face-offs can be the decisive factor in scoring or preventing goals, especially in power play (PP) and penalty kill (PK) situations.

In the NHL, an average of 60-70 face-offs occurs per game, offering a prime opportunity for the winning team to secure possession of the puck and strategically orchestrate plays.

Consider the Boston Bruins under Coach Jim Montgomery, exemplifying the impact of superior face-off proficiency. Like the Dallas Stars under Coach Montgomery and Denver University before that, the Bruins evolved into the best face-off team in the NHL, highlighting the real-time implications of this skill. Coach Montgomery’s arrival elevated the Bruins’ performance, particularly in dominating the face-off circle.

The ability to win a face-off extends beyond the center taking the draw; it equally relies on the coordinated efforts of other players on the ice, each executing their roles simultaneously.

Categorized by zone, here’s a concise overview of why face-offs are paramount:

Defensive Zone: Winning a face-off here minimizes the risk of an opponent’s scoring chance, providing an opportunity to clear the puck during breakouts or penalty kills.

Neutral Zone: Triumph in the neutral zone increases the chances of entering the offensive zone and initiating the forecheck. Simultaneously, it hampers the opposing team’s momentum when entering our zone.

Offensive Zone: A successful face-off in the offensive zone can instantly generate a scoring opportunity or, at the very least, afford the chance to control the puck and reignite the offensive attack.

Mastering face-off skills early in a player’s career not only enhances individual proficiency but positions them as standout players. Those adept at face-offs become invaluable assets to their teams and coaches. From AAA youth to the NHL, elite teams strategically substitute players during key face-offs, emphasizing that being the go-to player for critical face-offs is a choice within the player’s control. Do you aspire to be the player the coaching staff relies on for pivotal face-offs? Do you aim to stand out and be chosen for a team based on your unique skill set, fulfilling the team’s needs and desires? Work with our Ice Barn coaches on this vital skill and set yourself apart from the crowd.


Josh Mervis

Managing Partner

Ice Barn-Indiana



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