It's worth remembering, even in light of the Steve Downie/Roman Josi incident last night, that thundering checks are an integral part of the NHL, capable of turning the tide of a game in the blink of an eye. As part of our celebration of the recent release of EA Sports' NHL 14, which includes a new physics engine for more realistic game play, I thought we'd take a look at some of the greatest hits in Nashville Predators history.
Shea Weber on Patrick Berglund
Sometimes the fortunes of time and space allow a guy the chance to drill another player over the boards into the bench, and Shea Weber took full advantage here in a 2010 game against St. Louis. Notice the follow-through, to make sure Berglund is nicely tucked away:
Mike Fisher on Brian Campbell
One of the things fans love about Mike Fisher is his physically aggressive style in the offensive zone - while most centers seek to avoid contact and create space, Fish isn't shy about banging bodies in order to get his way. Here, he rubs out Chicago's Brian Campbell while forechecking:
While his play could be wildly inconsistent at times, the one thing Jordin Tootoo brought to the Predators was an intense level of forechecking that included some of the most powerful hits thrown anywhere in the NHL. Watch as he and Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov meet up in the corner:
Sure, the 2010 playoffs were a tremendous disappointment, since the Preds had the Chicago Blackhawks on the ropes in Game 5 only to pull off one of the great collapses in NHL history, but in Game Six of that series the team didn't give up. Down 3-0 to the Hawks early on, they fought back to tie the game on a sequence which all began with a thundering hip check by Dan Hamhuis on big Dustin Byfuglien. As a defenseman this is about as great a shift as you could ever hope for:
Jordin Tootoo on Michael Frolik
Yes, at times he crossed over the line and drew attention from the league office, but this clean shot by Tootoo on Florida's Michael Frolik was the #1 hit of the 2010-2011 season:
So which one of these gets your support, or are there others which I've overlooked? Sound off in the comments below...
More from On the Forecheck:
- Report: No NHL Hearing for Steve Downie/Roman Josi Hit
- Colorado Avalanche 3, Nashville Predators 1: A New Rivalry Is Born
- Roman Josi Injury: High Hit by Steve Downie Takes Out Nashville Predators Defenseman
- The NHL Business Model: Why Opponents of Fighting Should Suck It up, Hold Their Noses
- Nashville Predators to Air 47 Games in Georgia This Season