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Dallas’ biggest changes come up the middle

Aug 17, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT

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Shawn Horcoff AP

One area of the game that was a major issue for the Dallas Stars last season were faceoffs.

As a team, they were 27th in the league in face off percentage winning just 47.2 percent of their draws. That kind of action won’t let you possess the puck and in a league where that’s of the utmost importance, the Stars struggled.

Dallas’ top four players in taking faceoffs last season were Vernon Fiddler (51.5), Cody Eakin (48.6), Derek Roy (46.7), and Jamie Benn (46.1). Fiddler being the lone guy winning more than half his draws was an issue as he’s a third or fourth line player.

When Dallas acquired Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin, and Shawn Horcoff in separate deals this summer, they managed to address faceoffs in a big way.

Peverley, by far, is the leader in this category finishing second on the Bruins behind Patrice Bergeron winning 58.4 percent of faceoffs. While he didn’t take the bulk of the draws, he was more than effective when he did.

Horcoff throughout his career has hovered around 50 percent in faceoffs. While that’s not terribly impressive, it’s still better than the Stars did as a team. Just last season he won 49 percent and that was good enough to be second on the Stars.

Seguin, a center by trade but a winger in Boston, still had decent success coming away with a win in the circle 48.9 percent of the time.

Faceoffs aren’t as noticeable as goals or assists, but the Stars were so poor in that aspect of the game last season that winning more draws could be enough to help spark their offense. Now they’ve got the players to help make that happen.

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