David and Goliath: Legwand Has Datsyuk’s Number in D-Zone

Since the end of the NHL lockout, David Legwand has defeated Pavel Datsyuk in the majority of faceoffs in Nashville's defensive zone.

While Paul Gaustad has struggled in the faceoff circle against Pavel Datsyuk in the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Detroit, one player who has had no trouble versus the pesky Russian center has been David Legwand.

While Legwand has only faced off against Datsyuk a little more than half as many times as Gaustad in the series, he has managed to win one more faceoff (12).

When it comes to the defensive zone – Gaustad’s specialty – Legwand has won 6 of 8 matches against Gaustad so far in the series, while Gaustad has only pulled in 10 of 31 draws against Datsyuk

GameOffensive ZoneDefensive ZoneNeutral ZoneTotal
1100.00% (1-1)100.00% (1-1)33.33% (1-3)60.00% (3-5)
20.00% (0-1)75.00% (3-4)-60.00% (3-5)
3-50.00% (1-2)50.00% (1-2)50.00% (2-4)
475.00% (3-4)100.00% (1-1)-80.00% (4-5)
Total66.67% (4-6)75.00% (6-8)40.00% (2-5)63.16% (12-19)

In fact, since the lockout, Legwand holds a fairly significant advantage over Datsyuk in defensive zone faceoffs. Including playoffs, the two have met in the Predators zone 57 times since the start of the 2005-06 season – Legwand has won 33 of those faceoffs. Since the beginning of the season, Legwand has won 9 of 14 defensive-zone matches versus Datsyuk.

DateWonAttemptsAverage
3/30/2006010
11/10/200611100.00%
11/25/20061250.00%
2/24/200711100.00%
3/6/20074666.67%
3/13/2007010.00%
3/14/20071425.00%
3/29/20071250.00%
11/7/200711100.00%
12/10/200711100.00%
2/12/2008020.00%
4/14/2008010.00%
4/16/20081333.33%
12/26/2008010.00%
2/28/20091250.00%
11/23/200933100.00%
12/12/200911100.00%
1/29/201011100.00%
3/27/20105771.43%
4/3/2010010.00%
10/30/201011100.00%
11/26/20112450.00%
2/17/201211100.00%
3/30/2012010.00%
4/11/201211100.00%
4/13/20123475.00%
4/15/20121250.00%
4/17/201211100.00%
Total335757.89%

While Datsyuk does hold an 81-77 post-lockout edge in overall faceoffs versus Legwand, the Predator holds the edge where few on his team do: Nashville’s defensive zone.

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.