Crosby on faceoffs - 11-23-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

In the midst of a nine-game scoring streak, Sidney Crosby has been on a hot streak as of late. He's recorded multiple points in seven of those nine games. And oh yeah, he's neck and neck with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the league's scoring race.

But those are the sexy stats. Let's get into the meat and potato type of stats. The ones in the faceoff circle.

During Crosby's rookie season of 2005-06, he was a subpar 45.5 percent in faceoffs. Slowly but surely, he got better over the next five seasons. Now, he is 14th in the NHL with at 56.8 percent.

So it's probably safe to say, Crosby has a place among the better faceoff specialists in the NHL.

Last week, he talked about his peers in the faceoff circle and offered a bit of  scouting report on each of them:

Paul Gaustad (right), Sabres (63.0 percent in 2010-11)

"He's a really big, big guy. Just a lot of strength. He tries to use that a lot."

David Steckel, Capitals (63.0 percent)

"He's pretty good. He takes a lot on his strong side, on his back hand. Him and (Boyd) Gordon, they end up playing on their strong side. So they don't usually have to take faceoffs to their weak side which is a little bit of an advantage."

Manny Malhotra, Canucks (61.8 percent)

"I think he just competes really hard. He's not probably the strongest guy like Gaustad, but he competes every faceoff."

Zenon Konopka (right), Islanders (60.9 percent)

"He's good. He competes hard. That's a big part of it. Takes it really serious and goes in there wanting to win every single one. Slashing or doing whatever it takes to win it. "

Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings (56.9 percent)

"He's strong. He's really good with this stick. Part of it is good stick work and being quick. I would say that is more of his style."

Patrice Bergeron (right), Bruins, (53.6 percent)

"He's strong too. With Bergeron, he's a right-handed shot, (I'm) always going to go on opposites. I'm a lefty. He's a righty. But he's really strong. He's got a low bottom hand. Gets a lot of strength off of that."

Other than himself, who has been the Penguins best faceoff specialist in his six seasons with the Penguins:

"I'd say 'Adsy' (Craig Adams). He's a right so he usually takes them on his strong side. He's always done a good job of that."

Is there anyone he just doesn't like to face on the draw:

"Not so much any more. I think there used to be a longer list of those guys. Gaustad has always given me a hard time."

(Photos: Crosby-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Gaustad and Bergeron-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Konopka-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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