One of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the game, Steven Stamkos has only been average when it comes to taking faceoffs.
In 2013, the Lightning’s 23-year-old sniper won just under half the 819 draws he took, finishing with a win rate of 49.6 percent. And after three games of the 2013-14 season, his win rate is a woeful 33.3 percent.
So he’s working on it.
Per the Tampa Bay Times, Stamkos has sought the advice of new teammate Valtteri Filppula, a center who won 55.4% of the draws he took last season for the Red Wings.
“The most important thing is to talk about it,” Filppula said. “There are a lot of ways to take faceoffs, so it’s tough to say one or two things you do. You need a little luck, too.”
Stamkos’ desire for improvement extends beyond the faceoff dot. By his comments, it’s clear he wants to be known as more than an offensive specialist.
“It’s the (penalty kill) and being out there when you’re up a goal late in the game, not being a liability defensively, playing solid at both ends of the rink,” Stamkos said. “That’s the player I want to be.”
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.