Joakim Lindstrom Getty

PHT’s Three Duds of the Week: Just hit someone already

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.

Possibly allergic

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.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
1 Comment

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

1 Comment

For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.