As we've illustrated a handful of times this week, the Penguins won't have an easy time in the faceoff circle against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference final.
One player who stands to take a lot of draws is Jussi Jokinen who is the only member of the Penguins with a faceoff success rate in the postseason north of 60 percent at 63.9 percent.
Despite his considerable skills in the faceoff dot and other areas, Jokinen has not been a regular in the lineup during the postseason having only appeared in six of the team's 11 playoff games.
Will Jokinen's success on the draw give him a better chance at finding regular work in this series? Earlier this week, he talked about the Bruins and his chances at staying in the lineup.
How would you describe the Bruins in terms of taking faceoffs?
"Very difficult. I think the most difficult in the whole league. They’ve been a tough faceoff team for many years in the league and they were leading the league this [regular season] and the postseason as well. [Bruins forward Patrice] Bergeron is their top guy but there’s a lot of depth. What they do … they always have a guy who is taking a faceoff on his strong side. You always you hope for those set ups that you can have your strong side and the other guy has his weak side. Like, their left dot, they’ll have their lefties [Forward Chris Kelly and [forward Gregory] Campbell going. Then the right dot, they have Bergeron, [Rich] Peverly, [David] Krejci. They take lots of pride winning faceoffs. They’ve been very successful so that’s a big challenge for us this series."
Is it just a matter fo the center winning the draw on his own or do the wingers and defenseman support as well?
"I think it’s a combination of both. They’ve been doing a good job with their wingers and their defensemen help a lot too."
Is there any one member of the Bruins who gives you more trouble than the others in the faceoff dot?
"I remember playing the last game [April 20] in Boston, I felt like the first period and a half, I was winning pretty much all from Bergeron but the last 30 minutes, he probably won pretty much every faceoff against me. He’s one of the best guys in the faceoff. I think whoever you ask around the league, he’s the guy who lots of guys have a tough time including me."
Do you think your abilities in the faceoff circle make you a more enticing option to the coaches when they're filling out a lineup card during this series?
"That’s something that I really take pride in, winning faceoffs. I’ve been in lots of faceoffs in my career and especially this year in the postseason. It’s something I’m trying to really concentrate on. I hope I can keep going the same way against Boston. … We need to be really good."
You faced the Bruins in the 2009 postseason while as a member of the Hurricanes. We're they difficult back then as well?
"They had [Marc] Savard and I think Krejci was just coming into the league back then. For some reason, I was able to do pretty good against Savard and Krejci. I mostly played against those guys. It will be interesting to see what kind of matchups will be now and who I end up going against. It was a little different setup."
(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)