Faceoff Percentage 03-10

The Oilers have had very few excellent faceoff men over the last 15 years. Todd Marchant would appear to be the class of the group, and Shawn Horcoff is the best option available for the current team.

Earlier today I posted the 97-02 numbers and the current group. It was pretty obvious that the ability to win faceoffs is one of the major problems for the Edmonton Oilers 10-11.

How bad is it? How does it compare to the golden season of 05-06? Is the current group the worst of the current century? Read on.

2002-03

  1. Todd Marchant (29) 58% in 1336 sorties
  2. Marty Reasoner (25) 53.5% in 968 sorties
  3. Jiri Dopita (34) 52.8% in 316 sorties
  4. Brian Swanson (26) 52.4% in 405 sorties
  5. Mike Comrie (22) 47% in 1069 sorties
  6. Mike York (24) 43.8% in 390 sorties
  7. Anson Carter (28) 43.8% in 217 sorties
  8. Shawn Horcoff (24) 42.9% in 301 sorties

This looks like a MacT coached group of centermen. Marchant ranked 6th in the entire NHL and Reasoner was good at the discipline too. Comrie was struggling along and Horcoff fell off from the progress of the previous season.

2003-04

  1. Adam Oates (40) 57.2% in 851 sorties
  2. Jarret Stoll (21) 54.1% in 1019 sorties
  3. Marty Reasoner (26) 52.6% in 321 sorties
  4. Shawn Horcoff (25) 50.6% in 1378 sorties
  5. Ryan Smyth (27) 47.1% in 484 sorties
  6. Petr Nedved (32) 46.9% in 226 sorties
  7. Mike York (25) 45.9% in 656 sorties

Oates was a freak at this, and I wonder how much credit we should give him for Horcoff’s exceptional improvement and Stoll’s emergence as a quality faceoff man. Marchant is gone, but the numbers don’t suffer, partly due to the man that is Marty Reasoner.

2005-06

  1. Jarret Stoll (22) 56.8% in 1348 sorties
  2. Mike Peca (31) 54.9% in 1048 sorties
  3. Shawn Horcoff (27) 52.7% in 1421 sorties
  4. Marty Reasoner (28) 52.5% in 524 sorties

This is the team that made the Stanley run. Man.

2006-07

  1. Jarret Stoll (23) 55.6% in 901 sorties
  2. Marty Reasoner (28) 54.6% in 765 sorties
  3. Shawn Horcof (28) 50.6 in 1422 sorties
  4. Marc Pouliot (21) 48.7% in 353 sorties
  5. Toby Petersen (28) 48.1% in 214 sorties
  6. Petr Sykora (30) 48% in 462 sorties

Stoll, Reasoner and Horcoff took over 3000 faceoffs during that season and delivered solid numbers. The kid Pouliot had a nice debut (he was a little better than Comrie at the same age in the FO circle) and Petersen revived his career with the Oil.

2007-08

  1. Jarret Stoll (24) 55.1% in 1229 sorties
  2. Dustin Penner (25) 55% in 189 sorties
  3. Marty Reasoner (30) 52.8% in 906 sorties
  4. Kyle Brodziak (23) 51.5% in 297 sorties
  5. Shawn Horcoff (29) 50.6% in 963 sorties
  6. Sam Gagner (18) 41.8% in 299 sorties
  7. Andrew Cogliano (20) 39.5% in 542 sorties

Stoll is a quality faceoff man and Horcoff is a good one on the 07-08 team (this is when the rebuild started, I mean the first one). Brodziak shows some ability, Penner too and of course Marty helps whenever he’s on the team. Two raw recruits show their age, with Gagner matching Horcoff’s rookie numbers (although Gags was 4 years younger).

2008-09

  1. Shawn Horcoff (30) 53.9% in 1756 sorties
  2. Kyle Brodziak (24) 51.6% in 947 sorties
  3. Marc Pouliot (23) 48.3% in 211 sorties
  4. Dustin Penner (26) 47.4% in 114 sorties
  5. Sam Gagner (19) 42% in 690 sorties
  6. Andrew Cogliano (21) 37.2% in 702 sorties

Horcoff and Brodziak were pulling things in the right direction, but the kids were getting killed again. Pouliot seemed to show some promise again but this was MacT’s final season as coach so things would begin to change in fall 2009.

2009-10

  1. Gilbert Brule (22) 52.6% in 274 sorties
  2. Dustin Penner (27) 47.7% in 421 sorties
  3. Ryan Potulny (25) 47.4% in 820 sorties
  4. Sam Gagner (20) 47.4% in 709 sorties
  5. Shawn Horcoff (31) 46.4% in 1337 sorties
  6. Marc Pouliot (24) 44.3% in 235 sorties
  7. Andrew Cogliano (22) 43.3 % in 379 sorties
  8. Patrick O’Sullivan (24) 36.4% in 195 sorties

Brule stands out here as an option the Oilers should pursue. Based on numbers and his age, this young man could be a very good faceoff man in the future and should be quality in his prime. Gagner and Cogliano improved markedly in this season, and it should be mentioned that all of Potulny, Pouliot and O’Sullivan were flushed after the season.

2010-11

  1. Gilbert Brule (23) 53.2% in 154 sorties
  2. Shawn Horcoff (32) 49.2% in 535 sorties
  3. Colin Fraser (25) 43.7% in 387 sorties
  4. Dustin Penner (28) 42.3% in 253 sorties
  5. Sam Gagner (21) 41.8% in 729 sorties
  6. Andrew Cogliano (23) 41.8% in 579 sorties
  7. Taylor Hall (18) 37.6% in 93 sorties

Horcoff has improved over last season and as mentioned earlier a lot of his struggles probably come from playing with two rookie wingers. Gagner is back at his 08-09 level after it looked like he’d improved last season, we should also note that rookies are often on his wing too. Cogliano has been consistent over the last couple of seasons.

It’s hard to argue that any of the kids is going to be an above average faceoff man. Brule has that look based on numbers, but three coaches have shown a preference to play him on the wing. Horcoff remains the best option on the team, and the list of good faceoff men traded off this roster is long and bordering on criminal considering it’s a huge weakness on the current team.

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