Let’s admire Vladimir Sobotka’s faceoff skills

Vladimir Sobotka faceoffs

If you take a faceoff against Vladimir Sobotka there's a good chance you'll skate away empty-handed. In fact, there's a 69.5% chance you'll be the loser and Sobotka will be the winner. 

You see, Sobotka has started 2013-14 season as not only one of the best faceoff men on the Blues, but also one of the best in the NHL. He has taken 59 draws after his first seven games and has won a remarkable 41 of them. Though he hasn't taken as many draws as David Backes, Patrik Berglund or Derek Roy, Sobotka is quickly becoming the go-to guy when the team needs a big faceoff win. 

Sobotka's winning percentage is the highest of anyone in the NHL who has taken 13 or more draws. He's also been dynamic in the circle when it matters most. According to BehindtheNet.ca, Sobotka has been on the ice for 21 defensive zone faceoff wins. He's only been on the ice for five defensive zone faceoff losses. That's not his exact record in the circle, but it indicates that when he's on the ice for a draw in his own end, the Blues usually emerge with the puck. 

Will Sobotka's faceoff success continue? Possibly, but his percentage should drop as more draws are added to his sample size. Last year Sobotka won 56.5% and the year before that he won 56.1%. We might see an improvement in his overall win percentage, but anything near the 70s is pretty unrealistic over the course of a full season.