Monday, January 03, 2011

Random Oddity: Alex Edler has Taken 2 Faceoffs?

It's remarkably easy to spend an excessive amount of time clicking around NHL.com's stat pages. While it doesn't quite reach the addictive qualities of Wikipedia and is miles away from TV Tropes, a puckhead like me can easily see time disappear faster than every contestant's hopes of winning on Ninja Warrior.

Today, however, I stumbled across something odd: Alex Edler has taken two faceoffs. In fact, he is one of only three defencemen in the NHL to record more than one faceoff this season.

Now, before you all rush to the message boards and declare Alex Edler to be the Canucks new fourth line centre, a couple caveats. First, that's stupid. And second, he apparently lost both faceoffs.

But I'm more interested in knowing how it happened. When a centre is waved out of the faceoff circle (which can happen for a multitude of reasons), he's normally replaced by a winger. There are many reasons for this, but it should suffice simply to say that defencemen just aren't meant to take faceoffs; let's say it's against their nature. If the second player taking the faceoff also commits a faceoff violation, the team gets a 2-minute bench minor for delay of game, so you simply won't see several players waved out until a defenceman is the only one remaining to take the draw.

The only occasion I can think of when a defenceman might be called in is if the team is defending a 5-on-3 powerplay with one forward and two defencemen. Oddly enough, the one record I could find in the Canucks season so far of Edler taking a faceoff it was in their unfortunate 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild in October where there were no 5-on-3 powerplays for the Wild. In fact, the faceoff was in the offensive zone. To make things even more confusing, the Canucks were on the powerplay at the time with both Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler on the ice.

So is it just a clerical error? Did someone write down #23 instead of #33? Well, yeah, probably. Unfortunately, I couldn't track down the other game that he took a faceoff in to see if it too was a typo or a mistake. Given the vital importance of this stat, I enlist you, the fine Bulies reading this, to track down that faceoff!

17 comments:

  1. you mean now we have to do the work for your blog? 'track down that faceoff,' indeed.

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  2. Everyone obey Hypno-Torres?

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  3. Well, that was unexpectedly easy. Apparently it happened at even strength at 5:48 in the first period against the Dallas Stars just last Friday. I'm thinking this one was a typo too. Weird.

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  4. It's a typo, I just watched that faceoff (recorded on PVR) and it's Henrik taking it.

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  5. "they're nature"?

    madwag

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  6. So on the subject of odd stats, I was checking the Wikipedia article on individual NHL records, and found:

    # Most goals, one game: Alex Ovechkin's Ovechtrick, 9 (Jan. 1, 2011)

    First of all, an Alex Ovechkin Hat Trick is a goal, an injury-causing hit and a suspension. Second, stupid wikipedia.

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  7. Qris, have you seen the Ovechtrick commercial? It is mildly humourous, moreso when you look at Ovechkin's actual stats this season.

    Thanks Rachael and nic876 for confirming that. I assumed that to be the case. Thanks madwag for catching that most unfortunate of typos.

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  8. Oh I hadn't seen that.

    It's funny that they'd choose the Winter Classic game.

    Also funny: It'd take two "ovecktricks" for him to catch up to Crosby.

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  9. the funny thing about the ovectrick (besides the fact that he's never done it) is that it's not a triple hatrick a triple hatrick would be 5 goals... it would be a hatrick of hatricks i think o_0

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  10. I do not believe you are aware of the quarky hockey rules but there is a way for a defenseman to have to take a face-off. If a winger jumps and moves before the puck is dropped, the centerman is waved and must be replaced. However, the winger who left early can not be the one to replace the centerman; this then leaves three possible players to take the draw and two of them are defensemen. Therefore, if the team was short-handed and the winger was the player who jumped early, one of the two defenseman would have to take the face-off. It may not have happened, but it is a possibility.

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