Every Monday, we’ll highlight (lowlight?) three of the NHL’s biggest duds from the past week.
Going to dud it up a little differently this week by examining the highly-controversial (yet always fun) hit statistic. Obviously a lack of hits doesn’t always equal a dud…but sometimes it does!
Anyway, here’s a look at a variety of players with remarkably low hit totals and our corresponding categorization.
The one-hit wonder
That would be Colorado’s Joakim Lindstrom, who played in 16 games this year and recorded just a single hit. The lack of physicality wasn’t due to a lack of opportunity — in his last game with the Avs, Lindstrom played a season-high 17:32 — so I’m guessing laying the body just wasn’t his thing.
Know what else wasn’t his thing? Being in the NHL. On Nov. 29, Lindstrom was placed on waivers and returned to Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Elite League.
That would be Minnesota center Pierre-Marc Bouchard who, through 37 games this year, has recorded three hits. It’s not surprising that Bouchard strays away from contact given his injury history — he missed almost all of 2009-10 with a concussion — but this is a down year even by his standards. Comparatively speaking, Bouchard was a wrecking ball last season with 15 hits in 59 games and in 2008-09, when he laid the body 30 times in 72 contests.
Too old for this hitting nonsense
Jaromir Jagr, 39, has four hits in 34 games.
Brendan Morrison, 36, has five hits in 26 games.
Richard Park, 35, has five hits in 23 games.
Petr Sykora, 35, has seven hits in 41 games.
The category where Flyers fans get to pile on
Jeff Carter has four hits in 30 games for the Blue Jackets this season.
Here on purpose
Another Avalanche player! This time it’s rookie defenseman Stefan Elliott who, through 21 games this year, has recorded two hits.
PHT Note: Someone should have a word with Colorado’s scorekeeper.
It should be noted Elliott’s lack of contact isn’t for a lack of cojones, according to Saskatoon Blades GM Lorne Molleken (Elliott starred with the WHL club from 2007-2011):
“The thing with Stefan is he’s such an intelligent player,” Molleken told the Star-Phoenix. “He’s not a physical player but on the defensive side of things but he uses his stick as well as anyone I’ve seen at any level. His body position is as good as anyone I’ve seen at any level.”
Elliott did win the WHL’s Top Defenseman in 2010-11 and has looked great for Colorado, so he gets a pass.