NHL Power Rankings: 5 Biggest Hitters in the Western Conference

Eric SteitzAnalyst IIIJuly 14, 2012

NHL Power Rankings: 5 Biggest Hitters in the Western Conference

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    The biggest hitters in the East garnered some high quality discussion, so let's do it again.

    As a sequel to the Eastern Conference biggest hitters, here we look at the five biggest hitters in the Western Conference.

    The West used to be known more for its tic-tac-toe scoring plays and wide-open style. But, with the sport of hockey evolving and more talent moving coast-to-coast, the ability to level opponents has crossed conference lines also.

    Here we take a look at the top five biggest hitters in the West. Enjoy these crushing blows.

    Also, please comment anyone you feel should be included in a 16-player, playoff-formatted post, which will allow the readers to vote their favorite hitters along to the next round.

    For example: 2) Shea Weber vs. 15) Zdeno Chara

                        3) Ryan Callahan vs. 14) Dustin Brown

    Winners, based on reader-voted polls, will advance. This will continue for a round of eight, four and conclude with the final two players (regardless of conference) before we crown a reader's champion.

5. Drew Doughty

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    Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings can shoulder check you or hip check you—it really doesn't matter which.

    The 22-year-old defenseman is growing into a bigger and more punishing role with the Kings. He doesn't mind taking out other rising stars of the game either, such as in the video above.

    His 124 hits last season are a low total, but he makes the best of the opportunities and I fully expect him to climb this list in upcoming seasons.

     

    For your viewing pleasure.

4. Stephane Robidas

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    The aging Stephane Robidas can still lay the wood. He is a great force on the blue line for the Dallas Stars.

    The 35-year-old recorded 191 hits last season and only 48 PIMs. His hits are clean and vicious.

    Robidas is on his way down this list, but still worthy of the No. 4 spot.

     

    Say hello to Gabriel Landeskog.

3. David Backes

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    David Backes of the St. Louis Blues is an odd guy to be on this list, based on him being a center but he is 6'3", 225 lbs. and he can hit. 

    Backes provides a great spark for the Blues, scoring 50+ points and a whopping 226 hits last season.

    The guy has fantastic balance and control, whether you are attacking him, like in the video above or he is attacking you, you better bring the boom.

     

    Another Backes Beauty

    This is how forwards should earn their hits.

2. Shea Weber

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    Shea Weber is the captain of the Nashville Predators and when he is on the ice, he commands attention. 

    He doesn't care if you are a superstar or not, he will hit you. Weber notched 177 hits last season and helped his team finish fourth in the West.

    They then knocked-out one of the better hitting teams in the West, the Detroit Red Wings, in the first round of the playoffs.

    Shea Weber is deserving of the No. 2 spot.

     

    Daniel Sedin 

    Have another bench hit

1. Matt Greene

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    This one may surprise a lot of you as well. With the top spot is Matt Greene of the LA Kings.

    Greene led all Western Conference defensemen with 241 hits, including the one above on a fellow list-mate.

    Greene is finding the prime of his hitting career, and because of his prowess, he earns the top spot in a wide-open Western Conference countdown.

    Another leveler

    Quality Body Smashing

    Everyone loves a good hip check

     

    Again, let the debate begin and feel free to post any videos you have that will shine light on your nominee for the honorable mention list.