Once again, I would like to propose a nickname for Dennis Seidenberg: “Pain Sponge.” The Bruins defenseman already earned Brownie Points for leading the league in blocked shots, but apparently he has also taken the most non-puck abuse to boot.
Behind the Net published some fantastic stats showing which players take and receive the most checks. I’ll point out some of the more interesting facts from the post.
Hits For Leaders
- Matt Greene
- Ryan Getzlaf
- Cal Clutterbuck
- Dustin Brown
- Brooks Orpik
Some other noteworthy names on the list: Alex Ovechkin, Dion Phaneuf and Matt Cooke.
Most Hits Received
- Dennis Seidenberg
- Adam Pardy
- Mark Giordano
- Jason Blake
- Brian Rafalski
You have to wonder if these guys ever got shoved into a locker in high school. A few other leaders in hits taken: Zach Parise, Loui Eriksson and Brian Campbell. Behind the Net pointed out that only Stephane Robidas, Brent Seabrook and Douglas Murray made both of those lists.
Perhaps the most interesting stats involve players who seemingly only take or receive checks. I wonder if someone somewhere is making an obligatory “Doug Janik is fragile man. He’s a pacifist” joke right now. (Besides me, that is.)
Players who have the worst “ratio” of hits received versus dealt out
- Doug Janik
- Brad Richards
- Brian Campbell
- Boyd Gordon
- Mark Eaton
Now, even the meekest of hockey players are probably ten thousand times tougher than I am, but lists like this still make me giggle. Laughter-inducing bonus: Kyle Wellwood makes the list, but don’t feel too bad for him as his “winter coat” absorbs most of the pain. (Oops, I’m not supposed to make any more Wellwood fat jokes!)
Leaders in the ratio of hits given versus taken
- Adrian Aucoin
- Tim Gleason
- Brian Boyle
- Samuel Pahlsson
- Mike Commodore
Their stats on Aucoin are especially crazy: apparently he’s thrown 51 hits and only taken 8 checks in road games this season.
Again, thanks to Behind the Net for another great stats-related article.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.