Mathew Barzal’s Faceoffs
Barry Trotz mentioned how Barzal’s faceoffs were getting better during his post-game press conference after the Edmonton loss. If you didn’t already know his faceoff efficiency in that game you’ll be astounded when you find out.
On the season, Mathew Barzal holds a 51.7 percentage faceoff win ration. His last two seasons were 42.6 and 41.6 percent respectively. Barzal hasn’t been good on the faceoff for a while now and perhaps that’s changed this year.
The one blemish on his record this season is that 25 percent faceoff win ration against the Washington Capitals. Barzal won just two faceoffs on eight attempts. Sad.
Faceoffs were perhaps the one area of the game that Mathew Barzal needed to address in the offseason. We know he can skate, shoot, pass, find space, see the ice. He can do it all. Faceoffs on the other hand, not so much. And early on this season, it seems that he worked on his draws in the offseason.
To be fair, the entire New York Islanders roster could use a refresher on how to win a draw. It’s not just Mathew Barzal. In 2018-19 the Islanders ranked 29th for faceoff win percentage with a 47.4 win percentage.
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Having Barzal become more efficient on the draw lessens the faceoff burden on Brock Nelson who took an overwhelming number of draws last season. Like 200 more than the next player; Casey Cizkas. Brock took almost three times as many faceoffs (1246) as Mathew Barzal (580) in 2018-19.
Let’s see if that keeps up as the season progresses, but so far so good from Barzal!