How Much Do Faceoffs Matter? Translating Faceoffs to Goals, Wins, and Championships in Hockey

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Tad Berkery, Chase Seibold, Max Stevens, Justin Nam, Anton Dahbura 


In hockey, faceoffs have long been acknowledged as important drivers of puck possession, but their actual impact on scoring outcomes remains inadequately measured. It is acceptedly evident that a center winning 54% of their faceoffs outperforms one with a 51% success rate, but the tangible extent of this advantage in terms of goals, wins, and losses remains underexplored. This research fills the void by continuing the effort to translate faceoff results to scoring outcomes, measuring faceoff performance in goals, wins, and losses in a novel manner. We explore evidence that faceoffs are an undervalued championship-caliber market inefficiency and offer models enabling General Managers to see role-specific projections of how different personnel and usage could maximize offense, defense, and championship chances.