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The Noon Number: Dot Disarray

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A look at some puzzling early results in the faceoff circle

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

38.7 - Nicklas Backstrom’s faceoff win percentage so far this season, third-lowest among all NHL centers with a minimum of 60 draws. He’s 13-for-35 (37.1%) in the offensive zone alone, which means 22 lost possessions right off the draw, and 30-for-80 (37.5%) at even strength.

In fact, the Caps’ top three centers - outside of Lars Eller, who is clicking along at a solid 55% - have combined to win just 39.9% of 193 draws.

For Backstrom, this is particularly unusual, as the Swede has never finished a season below 46% (he checked in at 46.34% in his rookie campaign) and has topped 50% seven times in his career.