Ducks' draw dominance prompts complaints
Updated: June 2, 2003, 11:36 AM ETBy By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Faceoffs are where Anaheim head coach Mike Babcock's mantra of "puck management" begins and where the wheels in the Mighty Ducks' system start churning. Anaheim had been winning more faceoffs than New Jersey throughout the Stanley Cup finals, but they finally had an impact in the Mighty Ducks' 3-2 victory Saturday night in Game 3, because one key faceoff win led to Ruslan Salei's winning goal in overtime.
"It's the easiest 50-50 puck in the game," Babcock told reporters Sunday. "Why would you chase it versus have it? Why would you play defense if you can play offense? It seems like common sense to me." As a result of Anaheim's victory, which cut New Jersey's series margin to 2-1, Devils head coach Pat Burns has labeled the Ducks' faceoff men as cheaters.
Adam Oates is one of the best faceoff men in the league.