Upload & Sell: On
For me there are lots of factors in play depending on the rink. Some rinks I leave the gear at home, to dark, crowded, glass is to dirty. Our home rink is well lit so it makes half the games I see/shoot much less difficult.
The 300mm 2.8 VRII is new to me, but certainly performs a lot better in low light than the 70-200 F2.8 VRII. I don't have to crank the ISO up as much. At least that's what I've found. Can't say enough about the low light performance of the D600.
When it comes to faces the helmet cages do get in the way. You seldom get a good idea what the player really looks like, and the bars on the cage often block the eyes of the player. At that point for me, it's usually tossed.
Try getting closer maybe standing on the player bench during warm-up, if it's empty of course. I'm fortunate in that I'm good friends with the owner of my sons team and provide them photos so I have a little bit better access.
I PP in LR4 and find it's a great asset if you've had to really crank up the ISO and need to clean-up some noise.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Good captures by the way.