Hits are a big part of hockey, and that’s not just the music! Not all hits lead to a fight, but the big ones usually do. From cross-checks to all out stoppage of play, here are some of this season’s biggest hits (so far) across the ice from league to league.
Practice makes perfect, and the players in these leagues get plenty of practice with hits while they’re on their way up to the NHL. The ECHL’s newest addition, the Worcester Railers, is a testament to that. In their third ever game and first and only meetup this season with the Colorado Eagles, they racked up enough hits to get a total of seven fights! They may have fallen, but they were definitely brawlin’!
Another great example is the cross-check by Brandon Crawley of the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack on the Springfield Thunderbirds’ Bobby Farnham. They went at it afterward, and Farnham got a good grab at Crawley’s jersey, resulting in a game misconduct for Farnham along with a minor for cross-checking on Crawley’s card.
The big boys make it to the big time for a reason. The third-period hit on Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars by the Colorado Avalanche’s Nikita Zadorov resulted in a retaliation fight between Tyler Seguin and Patrik Nemeth. Seguin’s fight (which was also his first fight ever) landed him a Gordie Howe Hat Trick! How’s that for a big hit!
To open November, the first period fight between the Nashville Preds’ Cody McLeod and the L.A. Kings’ Kurtis MacDermid was no surprise. MacDermid slammed into McLeod back-first against the boards, catching his head in the crossfire. McLeod immediately dropped the gloves but still took most of the beating and received a game misconduct for instigating.
In the November 7th matchup between the Caps and the Sabers, Tom Wilson’s 2nd period hit on Jake McCabe was a thing of pure beauty. Clean and quick, Wilson checked him against the glass and then the two dropped the gloves for a few punches before they headed to the sin bin.
And the season is just getting started! What other hits should make the list of the biggest of the season so far?