The NHL's leaders in giving and taking hits

hitters.jpgOnce 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

  1. Matt Greene
  2. Ryan Getzlaf
  3. Cal Clutterbuck
  4. Dustin Brown
  5. Brooks Orpik

Some other noteworthy names on the list: Alex Ovechkin, Dion Phaneuf and Matt Cooke.

Most Hits Received

  1. Dennis Seidenberg
  2. Adam Pardy
  3. Mark Giordano
  4. Jason Blake
  5. 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

  1. Doug Janik
  2. Brad Richards
  3. Brian Campbell
  4. Boyd Gordon
  5. 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

  1. Adrian Aucoin
  2. Tim Gleason
  3. Brian Boyle
  4. Samuel Pahlsson
  5. 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.

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…