As part of our “Monday Meetups” column, we continue to highlight some of the most memorable checks and hits in ice hockey history. From the pros to the amateurs, checking is a pivotal part of the sport – and an essential technique in getting the puck back to your side. This popular and exciting offensive-defensive move is not even considered a penalty. With that in mind, here are some more memorable checks and hits of today and yesteryear:
It takes a lot to break the glass boards that separate fans from their favorite hockey players. However, Boston’s Milan Lucic hit Mike Van Ryn of the Toronto Maple Leafs so hard that the glass shattered into countless pieces! This happened in October 2008 and is still considered one of the greatest body checks of all time. It further showed that the right hit in the right spot is simply the beauty of checking.
In this exciting matchup between the Bruins and Sabres, Cam Neely was focused on carrying the puck toward the net. All of a sudden, Rob Ray flew in with a shoulder-to-shoulder check, causing both players to fly through the air and hit the ice with extreme force. This shows that checking does not necessarily have to be at the boards. Suffice it to say, the Bruins wasted no time going after Ray and the Sabres after this monumental hit.
Looks like Dion Phaneuf has made the “checklist” again. In a match between the Senators and Islanders in 2009, Phaneuf knocked down Kyle Okposo with a strategic check. Okposo attempted to bypass a defenseman with swift lateral movements; however, he never saw Dion coming at him. As one of the most effective hard hitters and checkers in today’s NHL, Dion has truly mastered the art of checking. There may be no one better.
This massive hit goes back to January 2006 in a matchup between Philadelphia and Atlanta. As Ronald Petrovicky was watching the puck and anticipating a pass, Mike Richard floored him with a picture perfect check!
These are some of the top hits and checks in ice hockey history. As one of millions of hockey fans and enthusiasts, I continue to be in awe of this amazing offensive-defensive maneuver. We plan to showcase even more exciting hits, so “check” back soon!