Face offs and zone starts, is one more important than the other?

I brought this issue up on twitter today because it got me thinking. Many hockey analytics dismiss face off winning % as a skill that has much value but many of the same people also claim that zone starts can have a significant impact on a players statistics. I haven’t really delved into the statistics to investigate this, but here is what I am wondering. ┬áConsider the following two players: Player 1: Team wins 50% of face offs when he is on the ice and he starts in the offensive zone 55% of the time. Player 2: Team wins 55%

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Do zone starts really matter and if so, how much?

I often see people using zone starts and/or quality of competition as a way to justify any players unexpectedly poor or unexpectedly good play. Player X has a bad goal or corsi ratio because he plays all the tough minutes (i.e. the defensive zone starts and against the oppositions best lines). I am pretty certain that quality of competition is vastly over emphasized (everyone plays against everyone to some extent) and is vastly overshadowed by individual skill and quality of teammates, and I think zone starts do as well. Eric Tulsky at NHL Numbers.com posted a good review of the

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