If you're looking for reasons that the Ottawa Senators are hovering around .500 instead of the basement, look no further than the play of their top line, most notably centre Jason Spezza, whose 15 points have him tied for ninth in league scoring.
But Spezza isn't just leading the Senators in terms of offensive production (or double zees). He's also the league's most frequent visitor to the faceoff circle, and one of its most frequent winners. Through 15 games, Spezza has taken a whopping 342 draws, 26 more than the next guy, Eric Staal, and twice as many as the next Senator, Zack Smith. Spezza's won 56.4% of the time, good for 10th in the league.
Those 342 faceoffs, by the way, are 38.3% percent of his team's overall faceoff taken, which is, again the highest percentage in the league.
The Senators' centre is on pace for 1870 draws. To put that in perspective, Eric Staal led the NHL last season with 1750. Spezza, meanwhile, took 1210 in 2010-11. This is a drastic increase, both for...