When preparing for a faceoff on the road, the visiting team's faceoff man must put his stick down on the ice prior to the home faceoff man doing so. Oftentimes, fans will see players quibble over this with the linesman, even occasionally barking at the opposing player.
Why is this so important?
One may think that a skilled faceoff man, like Sidney Crosby, would be able to win a faceoff no matter when his stick is touching the ice. If Crosby is so good, then why does it matter whether he is at home or on the road? Or is this a problem that most every center faces?
Does the first declaration of stick position mean that much?