Everyone remembers the Detroit Red Wings "grind line" of Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper and Darren McCarty. They were an integral part of the the Red Wings' Stanley Cup wins in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.
They provided solid defensive play and chipped in with timely goals when other teams focused on the bigger names—Yzerman, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Shanahan, Larionov, Datsyuk, Hull. Without these grinders, the Red Wings would not have been a winning franchise.
Here is a list dedicated to those hardworking, grinding forwards and defencemen.
This list is based on statistical analysis up to, and including, March 8, 2012 games. It is based on hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways, faceoffs, missed shots and games played.
Without further delay, here are the top-10 grinders this season (in no particular order). Be sure to comment with your thoughts on each player and whom you think deserves to be on this list that is not.