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.


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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.

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    WATCH LIVE: Stanley Cup Final Game 1 – Sharks at Penguins

    PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  Pittsburgh Penguins fans sit outside of Consol Energy Center prior to Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The wait is finally over. The 2016 Stanley Cup Final is about to begin.

    Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks received some time to lick their wounds after three grueling playoff rounds, so expect Game 1 to be fun, even if there might be a subtle bit of rust here or there.

    The star power is considerable. The beards are burly (at least on the Sharks’ side). It’s time to get cracking.

    Game 1 airs on NBC. You can also stream it via the link below and enjoy some “NHL Live” coverage leading in.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Vlasic on the unenviable task of matching up against Crosby

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21:  Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 and Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada look on during the Men's Ice Hockey Semifinal Playoff against the United States on Day 14 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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    Plenty of people believe that the San Jose Sharks’ defense is superior to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ personnel, but it’s one thing to be better on paper. When you’re on the ice, against a speedy and talented team, can you really stop the Penguins?

    All signs point to sorely underrated Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic drawing the difficult assignment of trying to slow down Sidney Crosby.

    Vlasic, a former Team Canada teammate of Crosby (as you can see from this post’s main image), realizes that he’ll have his hands full. In fact, he seems to believe that this will be an even tougher challenge than trying to solve St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.

    The fantastic all-around defender isn’t exactly expecting to reinvent the wheel in his strategy against Crosby.

    “It will be the same as in the first three series,” Vlasic said, via The Hockey News. “We’re playing against the top players on every time – Sid, (Evgeni) Malkin and those types of guys for Pittsburgh. Me and (Justin Braun) will just keep doing what we did, taking away time and space and hopefully it works out.”

    The two players have had glowing things to say about each other for some time, but don’t be surprised if this high-level competition turns those happy thoughts into hard feelings.

    It stands as one of the matchups to watch in what could be a fresh and fascinating Stanley Cup Final.

    Red Wings look to future in net … a future possibly without Howard

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save against the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden on April 7, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.

    One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”

    It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.

    Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?

    The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.

    “In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”

    In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.

    Stanley Cup Final referees: McCauley, O’Halloran, O’Rourke, Sutherland

    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Referee Dan O'Halloran #13 holds up a face-off between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators during their NHL game at First Niagara Center on December 13, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
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    From the NHL:

    refs

    Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.

    Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.