Faceoffs are the bread and butter of hockey. They allow you a fair and square chance to win back possession of the puck after an event has led to a faceoff. The events that will put you in a faceoff position against your opponent include:
- Start of the match or the half
- When a goal is scored
- If play has been stopped due to an attacking player in the offensive zone
- The puck has been hit out of bounds
- The puck is hit out of bounds directly from the faceoff
- A player gets an injury
- An icing is called by the referee
- Illegal hand pass has been commited
If you don’t know how to execute the different types of NHL 22 faceoffs or aren’t prepared with a faceoff strategy as a whole, most often than not, you’ll lose every single faceoff and that’s no fun.
So, in this guide, I’ll show you how to win faceoffs in NHL 22. Do note that for the most part, it is a game of rock, paper, scissors, so playing mind games with your opponent is crucial to your success.
Understand the Different Faceoffs in NHL 22
✅ You Win
|Basic Forehand||Forehand Sticlift||Basic Backhand||Backhand Sticklift||Tie-Up||Deke|
|Backhand Stick lift||✅||❌||❌||–||✅||✅|
The table from above includes every possible faceoff combination between you and your opponent and the most likely outcome for each combination. For reference, you’re on the left-hand side (where the faceoffs are in bold) and your opponent is on the top.
So, as an example, let’s say that your opponent tries to win possession by using the backhand sticklift faceoff. In order to counter that, you’ll need to either go for the forehand sticklift or the backhand basic backhand faceoff. Anything else and you’ll either tie or lose the faceoff.
It’s also worth mentioning that the table above isn’t 100% accurate but rather a good indication of what you can expect in the large majority of cases.
Note: If you and your opponent end up going for the same faceoff, it will all come down to your player’s faceoff ratings. Even then, it might end up being a tie and a jumbled-up mess.
My best advice is for you to literally memorize the chart from above and pay attention to what kind of a faceoff your opponent is likely to pull off. That way, you can quickly determine a counter and win nearly every face-off that you come up against.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can win every single NHL 22 faceoff that you are likely to come up against in NHL 22.
The basic forehand is one of the most useful faceoff actions as that technique can beat any sort of tie-up or deke (particularly because the tie-up is the most used faceoff technique).
While it’s super useful, it can also be countered very easily if you come up against a player that is confident at faceoffs as both the forehand sticklift and the backhand sticklift can beat the basic forehand.
In order to execute the basic forehand, hold the right analog stick to the position of your opponent’s dominant hand, and as soon as the puck hits the ice, flick it back towards your teammates.
This is probably the second easiest faceoff and amongst the most useful ones.
Before I get into the forehand sticklift faceoff, I want to let you know that this is one of the slowest faceoff techniques out there. It’s really not useful if you want to quickly get possession of the puck and strike towards your opponent’s net.
I would only really use this animation if I am trying to gain possession and slow down the play, especially if I am defending.
In order to execute this faceoff, move the right stick towards the dominant hand (right for right-handed players and left for left-handed players), and as soon as the puck is released, flick the right analog stick upwards. To aim the pass, simply use your left analog stick and point it in the direction of where you want to pass.
The forehand sticklift is one of the most useful faceoffs as your probability of winning is 50%. If you use the forehand sticklift, you’ll beat any opponent who tries the basic forehand, backhand sticklift, and the deck faceoff. You will only lose if your opponent goes for the basic backhand and as for the rest, you’ll see a tie.
This particular faceoff will beat a forehand sticklift as well as the backhand sticklift. It is a faceoff that many players tend to use early due to the initial anticipation of a tie-up draw.
While it’s super useful against more experienced players who use mind games in their faceoff strategy, funnily enough, this faceoff can only be beaten by the tie-up.
So if you’re playing against more beginner players, it’s worth paying attention to the more basic faceoff techniques and how to counter them.
In order to execute the basic backhand, as soon as the referee starts to move the puck down towards the ice, move your right analog stick in the direction to that of the dominant hand of your opposing player (as an example, from the image above, flick the right analog stick to 9 o’clock).
Once the puck touches the ice move your right analog stick down to six o’clock
Similar to the forehand sticklift, the backhand sticklift requires some pretty good timing to pull it off on a regular basis. With the backhand sticklift, you will win against opponents who try the basic forehand, tie-up, and the deke faceoff techniques.
In order to execute the backhand sticklift, make sure that you push the right analog stick to the opposite side of your player’s dominant hand (right for left-handed players and left for right-handed players) right before the puck hits the ice.
When the puck touches the ice, flick your right analog stick forwards.
In order to aim the pass from the faceoff (provided you win), use your left analog stick to aim the pass towards one of your team players.
This faceoff is particularly useful when you want to take your opposing player out of play and open up space for your winger to swoop in, get the puck, and either strike towards the opponent’s net (if in offense) or create the potential for an attack.
The tie-up technique can be performed from any stance so do make sure to move the analog stick either to the right or to the left before the puck is dropped on the ice.
In order to execute the tie-up faceoff, push forward your left analog stick as soon as the puck hits the ice, which will make your player go forward and block your opponent’s faceoff player from trying to get the puck. This will ultimately leave the puck behind your faceoff player for your winger to snatch it up.
The tie-up faceoff will only work if your opponent goes for the basic backhand or the deke faceoff. If they go for anything else, you’ll either tie or lose the faceoff.
One thing to remember is that most players will go for the tie-up because it’s the simplest one to execute. If you end up in a tie or losing the faceoff, that’s not really a problem since you can still win possession of the puck.
The deke is one of the riskiest yet most rewarding faceoffs. In order to perform the deke faceoff, hold L1 (for PS) and LB (for Xbox) right before the puck is being dropped and then press the RAS (right analog stick) forward as soon as the puck is released by the referee and hits the ice as if you were to perform a snap shot.
Do note that the timing for this faceoff is crucial. You can’t do it too early or too late or else, you’ll lose the faceoff.
If I were you, I’d use the deke/shot faceoff strategically in places where I can obviously benefit from executing it. It’s only really worth trying if you’re in the offense as if you’re defending, you don’t want to be messing around and losing possession of the puck, especially since that can easily lead to an unnecessary goal.
It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll lose the faceoff pretty much against any type of faceoff (refer to the table above) with the exception of the deke faceoff, which your opponent is very unlikely to attempt, especially if they’re in their half.
Other Helpful Tips to Win Every Faceoff
Timing is Crucial
No matter what faceoff you decide to go for or how high faceoff rating your player has, you will lose faceoffs almost every time if you don’t time them perfectly.
Remember that the higher you climb in the leagues, the better players you’ll play against where the margin for error really is zero. One lost faceoff in defense can easily lead to a goal so always pay attention.
The best time you want to execute your faceoff is as soon as you notice the referee moving downwards to place the puck. Too early will pretty much lose you the faceoff and going too late will too.
Pick the Best Faceoff Player
When your opponent has chosen the same faceoff as you and their timing is as perfect as yours, then the player who wins the faceoff will come down to the one who has a higher faceoff rating.
Thus, it is crucial for you to have a player with high faceoff stats if you want to maximize your chances. Yes, most of the great faceoff players do cost a fair chunk of coins, but if you learn the best ways to get coins on NHL 22, you will be able to afford a faceoff player that will get the job done every time.
Now that you know how to win faceoffs in NHL 22, it’s time for you to memorize the table and each counter technique to every faceoff.
It will take you some time, but it’s worth it. It’s absolutely necessary for you to win more faceoffs than your opponent, especially if you’re defending as that will dramatically reduce the goals you concede.