|An awful lot of this.|
The glorious summer sun is finally upon us (well at least here in Vancouver).Unfortunately for us hockey fanatics this fantastic weather comes at a price: hockey. The summer brings a serious lack of hockey highlights and an overwhelming amount of baseball on sports stations. Have no fear, we here at WeveGotTwins have got your hockey fix. Today, we give you the Top 10 Canucks Hits. The definition of a big hit: it makes the announcers change their tone of voice, it makes the crowd scream, and it makes you inadvertently cringe, stand up, or shout out -- sometimes all of the above. Nothing better to satisfy the summer hockey blues, than some bone crunching hits!
#10 – Alex Edler on Drew Doughty
This hit starts off the list, and man do I love this one. Edler comes flying in from the top of the crease and launches himself at Doughty who is streaking off the board straight to the net, and straight for Edler.
This hit makes the list because it shows just how much the players amp up their game in the playoffs. Edler commits his whole body to the hit so much that he flies through the air after making contact with Doughty. Way to go Edler that’s what we like to see.
#9 – Raffi Torres on Tyler Myers
This is the first of three Torres hits to make the list, and believe me they just get better. This hit is a textbook Torres collision: a man with his head down and Torres sends him flying.
This hit makes the list because it demonstrates what many players are scared to do these days; which is clear house. The puck is along the wall, players are jabbing at it, playing with it, and one player finally thinks “naw, I’m going to take the body.” Raffi comes down the boards and sends Myers into the ejector seat…Oh, also Myers is 6’8” 230, nuff said.
#8 – Raffi Torres on Tomas Kaberle
See told you, more ginger beard! It is almost identical to the Myers hit, except it’s against the team we love to hate: Boston. Set up: Kaberle is skating back to his corner to retrieve a dump in, meanwhile Torres is barreling straight down the wing. Question: Will Kaberle A. make a pass without being hurt or B. Get absolutely steam rolled by Torres? Correct it is B.
This hit makes the list mainly because it is against the Bruins. I mean come on what Canucks fan doesn’t like to see this kind of stuff. Also, this is one of the few Torres hits that cannot be called into question. Torres hits a man cleanly and sends him off his feet, slamming into the boards. It is clean, it is solid, and it is monsterous!
#7 – Alexander Edler on Patrick Kane
Edler is one of the few Canucks that takes his physicality to another level come the playoffs. Just 14-seconds into Game Two of the 2011 playoffs against Chicago, Alexander Edler made his presence felt as he absolutely stands up and crunches the “star” forward on the hated Blackhawks.
This hit makes the list because about 99% of viewers probably yelled in exclamation after seeing this hit; and even now die-hard Canuck fans probably yell “F*ck Off” when they see Edler completing boshing Kane along the boards. After losing two years straight in the playoffs, every fan wanted to see the Nucks take out their frustration in a physical manner, and this hit definitely helped.
#6 – Dan Hamhuis on Marcus Kruger
Hamhuis is known for his hip checks, but here he lets his shoulder do the talking. Hamhuis gets a solid run up, and like Edler’s hit on Doughty, Hamhuis puts the full force of his body into Kruger, and Kruger has nowhere to go but the boards. This is why the playoffs are so great.
This hit makes the list because Kruger looks like an absolute rag doll during the hit. Hamhuis lays the “huge hit,” and Kruger’s body contorts and shrivels into an unnatural ball shape, then smashes into the boards. One of the most underrated hits, but one of my favourites!
#5 – Aaron Rome on Nathan Horton
I’ll probably get some flack for including this one on the list (and also placing it so high up), but no matter what, this hit is BIG! Horton makes a pass and keeps his eyes on the puck, not where he is going. Just as the puck comes of his stick Rome is lining Horton up, there is still a huge gap, but Rome is committed to the hit and he lays his shoulder square into Horton.
This hit makes the list because of what was at stake: the Stanley Cup. This was the Finals, where everything is worth so much more. A pass, a goal, a hit means so much more in the Finals. The Canucks are coming into one of the rowdiest arenas in the NHL; against arguably the most physical team in the NHL. What do you need to do to silence the crowd and get your team going? Either score a goal or make a huge hit. No goals had come, so the answer is the ladder. It may have been late (arguable), but Rome made the hit count, and, man there is no denying, it was BIG! Keep your head up kids.
#4 – Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook
Yes, another “questionable” hit makes the top 5, but I don’t believe this one is questionable at all. What is the first thing they tell you when learning to hit in hockey? Keep. Your. Head. Up! What does Seabrook do, watches the puck come around the boards, not paying attention to what is going on around him. Also, look where the puck is when Torres makes contact, in Seabrook’s feet. Textbook hit, no ifs, ands, or buts!
This hit makes the list because Torres lays the body on a player who isn’t playing smart hockey. It goes to show you have to always have your head up in the NHL. Also, Jim Hughson’s reaction is pretty priceless too.
#3 – Ballard and Hamhuis on San Jose
I couldn’t choose between the two, so I chose both. The first is Hamhuis throwing a hip check right into the midsection of Douglas Murray, causing him to go for a carnival ride. The second is Ballard thinking one step ahead of Jamie McGinn, sending him flying head over heels…literally.
These hits make the list simply because they exemplify a perfect hip check, and make the other players go head over heels. The hip check flip is a rare commodity in the NHL, but when a player busts it out oh-boy does the crowd ever love it; and so do we. And again, the announcers’ reactions aren’t too bad either. Always nice to hear them getting excited about a hit!
#2 – Trevor Linden on Jeff Norton
This is the only hit that is not from the 21st Century. 1994 Playoffs, Vancouver vs. St. Louis, Trevor Linden gives Vancouver (and arguably the NHL) one of its most classic hits when he commits to the man in the Blues defensive zone, and absolutely annihilates Jeff Horton.
This hit is on the list because the crowd absolutely loved it, and not only does the glass shatter in spectacular fashion (even Don Cherry says he has never seen the glass shatter like that), but Linden smashes his man through the glass with such force that he continues the hit and drives Norton over the boards into the spectators. A one of a kind hit that will be near impossible to replicate in today’s NHL.
#1 – Willie Mitchell on Jonathan Toews
The number one hit is by far the biggest, but it is also the cleanest. The Hawks breakout of their zone, and, with his head facing the pass (and not where he is going), Toews accepts the pass at centre ice. Meanwhile, Mitchell is let out of the box and times everything so perfectly that this hit is almost like magic.
This hit is the number one biggest Canucks hit because, well, it is f*cking huge. It is against the hated Blackhawks, it is on the captain (one of the best NHL players of today), and the guy gets Bambi legs afterwards. But, what amplifies this hit, and sets it apart from the rest, is that it’s an open ice hit. In today’s NHL, the players are too fast and too smart to be caught with their head down at centre ice. But, Toews keeps his eyes on the pass for a second too long, and Mitchell makes him pay…BIG TIME (the crowd and the announcer agree)!