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There are three stances from which you can attempt a pass back: upright, forehand or backhand.
A stick lift will beat the upright or forehand stance, and a tie up will beat a backhand pass back. But your average NHL player relies on the plain old "win back" most of the time.
If your faceoff rating is higher than the other center’s rating, you can counter with your own pass back from any stance and win the majority of draws. But if your faceoff ratings are equal, you will have to choose the appropriate counter based on your opponent’s stance.
In versus mode, it’s important to know the faceoff ratings for all your centers. Guys with a high rating can win faceoffs cleanly, but you may have to get dirty with the third- and fourth-line centers, using stick lifts and tie ups to steal draws.
As an EASHL center, you are doing your team a disservice playing at anything but a 99 faceoff rating. After all, hockey teams that win the time of possession and time on attack battles usually win the game.
One other EASHL note:
Centers trying a clean win back in the offensive zone are putting their defensemen in a bad spot.
Reason being, the other team’s wingers will often sprint out and poke check the puck away from your defensemen before they can even press a button, leading to a breakaway at the other end.
In the EASHL, centers should go for a tie up, deke forward, or stick lift in the offensive zone.
Yes, you read that right: winning offensive zone faceoffs to the point is a bad idea! In this situation, EA’s arcade-like acceleration physics give an unrealistic advantage to the defense!
Centers with a low faceoff rating can even the battle by getting physical with opposing centers.
The tie up beats any move that is made from the backhand stance, so make it your go-to move any time you see the other center going for the backhand grip.
(Note that a forehand pass back will beat the tie up.)
In versus play, the tie up is not recommended unless you have no other option, because even if you successfully tie up the other center, you still have to rely on the CPU to retrieve the puck and get it out of traffic.
But in the EASHL, a human winger can come in and take the puck safely, making the tie up a great choice.
Like the tie up, the stick lift is a great equalizer in a faceoff against a higher-rated center.
The stick lift should be your go-to move against anyone who comes out in a forehand or upright stance and attempts to win the puck straight back.
A forehand stick lift is not recommended in versus play, because it wins the puck right into traffic, where you must rely on your CPU winger to safely retrieve it.
The backhand stick lift wins the puck back a bit deeper and wider than the forehand version, making it the better choice for versus play.
In the EASHL, your winger or defenseman can collect a forehand stick lift much easier, just as they would for a tie up. Don't hesitate to use the forehand stick lift in EASHL games.
Do not attempt a stick lift against a center who’s using a backhand grip, as it will whiff. Use the tie up instead when facing an opponent in a backhand stance.
The deke forward is the least successful faceoff move in the game.
A simple pass back from the forehand stance will beat a deke forward.
However, it’s interesting to note that the success of the deke forward move, like the tie up and stick lift, is not dependent on faceoff rating.
So if you catch your opponent in the upright stance while you’re in the offensive zone, it’s worth giving the deke forward a try, as it can lead to an easy one-timer goal if you win the faceoff.
Another great move to try off a deke is shooting five hole or opposite post on the goalie after winning the puck forward.
This maneuver is especially effective against human goalies, who usually will leave the five-hole open, and tend to play the pass, not the shot, once they see you have won the faceoff with a deke.
It is extremely difficult to score shooting from a faceoff. Sometimes it can catch a user goalie by surprise, but even then you are more likely to hit pads than net. So the best use of a shot on goal is to have your closest winger crash the net and hope for a rebound.
A center with great wrist shot power is an added bonus because he can shoot off a faceoff to dump the puck into the offensive zone or clear the defensive zone during a penalty kill.
Finally, if you think your opponent is about to shoot, use the stick lift to counter him.