Good review. Face offs aren't all that bad but there is a strategy to them. There are 3 ways to grip your stick on a faceoff and it's like rock, paper, scissors as each is strong or weak against another. Add on top of that the fact that timing is crucial and the player's own faceoff rating factors in. I've played EASHL games where I've dominated and been dominated in the faceoff circle. In real life, a player who averages a 55% success rate is considered the best you can get.
The physics system is something they started last year and claim is something to be implemented over a 3 year plan. It has improved from older games but unfortunately with yearly releases we see only incremental improvements.
2013 planned purchases:
Splinter Cell Blacklist