Goaltending and special teams' performances are considered major components of a team's success.
They fly under the radar. But the fact is, faceoffs are vital _ they trigger a team's offense and help sway a game's momentum.
It's no coincience that the three NHL teams with the most points _ San Jose, Chicago and Washington _ are also in the top four in faceoff percentage.
The Flyers have quietly made strides in faceoffs this year. They are tied for 12th in the 30-team NHL with a 50.2 success rate; a year ago, they finished 22d at 48.3 percent.
Among the players who take most of their faceoffs, Blair Betts leads the Flyers at 52.7 percent, followed by Jeff Carter at 52 percent, Mike Richards at 50.5 percent, Claude Giroux at 49.4 percent and Darroll Powe at 46.7 percent.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Defenseman Denis Bodrov stuggled while playing in Russia this season, but the Flyers are hoping he improves his game in the AHL.
The Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers' the top minor-league affiliate, anounced Tuesday they had signed Bodrov to a standard AHL contract for the remainder of the 2009-2010 season.
Bodrov, 23, began the season playing for Atlant Mytishchi in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. Flyers goalie Ray Emery played for Atlant last year.
In 12 games this season for Atlant, Bodrov scored one goal and had six penalty minutes. The Moscow, Russia native has spent his entire playing career in Russia, including 13 points in 45 career KHL games for Atlant and Lada Togliatti. He was released by Atlant at the end of November.
Bodrov, a 6-foot, 215-pounder, was chosen by the Flyers in the second round (55th overall) of the 2006 draft. The Flyers had three second-round selections that year, including Andreas Nodl (39th) and Michael Ratchuk (42nd).