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Ranking the 10 Biggest Bone-Crunching Hits from the 2013 NHL Season

Brad KurtzbergContributor IApril 10, 2013

Ranking the 10 Biggest Bone-Crunching Hits from the 2013 NHL Season

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    Checking and physical play have been a part of the NHL as long as the league has existed. As much as hockey fans enjoy a big goal or a pretty pass, they love a crushing hit that rattles an opponent's bones.

    With that in mind, here is a collection of the 10 biggest bone-crushing hits of the 2013 NHL season (so far).

    Feel free to share hits you feel I left off this list. If you have one, please include a link to the hit in question and tell us why it belongs on our list.

    So sit back, relax and enjoy the physical side of hockey.

10. Nazem Kadri Hits Nathan Horton

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    While Toronto's Nazem Kadri is best known for producing goals this season, he can also dish out some punishment when it's needed. Here he delivers a hard blow to Boston's Nathan Horton.

9. Marc Methot Hip Checks Nazem Kadri

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    Many say the hip check is a lost art, but here, Ottawa's Marc Methot proves that some people still know how to deliver a hard, clean hip check as he sends Nazem Kadri tumbling to the ice.

8. Keith Ballard Upends Cody McLeod

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    Another good example of the hip check is demonstrated here by Vancouver's Keith Ballard. The veteran defenseman upends Colorado's Cody McLeod against the boards.

7. Alex Ovechkin Crushes Cory Conacher

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    Former Lightning rookie Cory Conacher got a "welcome to the NHL" moment when he was slammed hard at center ice by Washington's Alex Ovechkin.

    "The Great Eight" showed he is still capable of playing the physical style that endeared him to fans when he wasn't busy scoring goals.

6. Mark Fistric Stops Craig Smith

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    Mark Fistric of Dallas decides he doesn't like having Nashville's Craig Smith too close to his goal. Smith hits the ice like he skated into a brick wall.

5. Jordin Tootoo Hits Philip Larsen

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    Jordin Tootoo shows us why the Red Wings acquired him this past summer as he delivers a devastating blow to Philip Larsen of the Dallas Stars.

4. Francois Beauchemin Nails Dustin Brown

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    Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin is one of the more underrated defensemen in the NHL. Here he shows the physical part of his game as he sends the Kings' Dustin Brown tumbling to the ice.

3. Bobby Ryan Slams Valtteri Filppula

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    Anaheim's Bobby Ryan usually uses his size and skill to score goals, but he can also deliver some tough checks. Here he levels Detroit's Valtteri Filppula.

2. Drew Doughty Slams Pavel Datsyuk

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    Drew Doughty of the Kings is the complete package. He is capable of making dynamic offensive plays and playing smart in his own end as well.

    Here, the young defenseman shows he also possesses a strong physical game as he levels Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk.

1. Ryan Garbutt Hits Alex Burrows

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    Dallas' Ryan Garbutt may not be a household name, but here he delivers a memorable hit on Vancouver's Alex Burrows.

    This one is quite simply the best hit of the season (so far).

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