Patrick Sharp was a young center in the Philadelphia Flyers' organization when he got a lesson from Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke on taking faceoffs. Clarke played 15 seasons in the NHL and won two Stanley Cups, so Sharp listened intently.
He carries the heart of the message with him to this day.
''The biggest thing he told me was, `Get in there, get low and just battle and not be afraid to get dirty,''' said Sharp, now a wing for the Chicago Blackhawks. ''Sometimes you get thinking about what the other guy's doing and what you want to do at the faceoff dot and sometimes the best way is just get in there and compete for that puck.''
That competition has taken on added significance in this year's Stanley Cup finals, with the evenly matched Blackhawks and Boston Bruins vying for the title. There are stars all over the ice, so every draw can lead to another opportunity for a gifted scorer to pick up a crucial goal.