Dion Phaneuf: His 10 Biggest Hits as a Toronto Maple Leaf
The Leafs' game against the Senators last Saturday was a thriller for sure, but the most memorable part of the game, at least for me, will always be Dion Phaneuf's hit on Stephane Da Costa.
I know Joe Bowen wasn't calling that game, but HO-LY MACKINAW what a hit.
That hit is what inspired me to slap together this little presentation with 10 of Dion's biggest hits as a Leaf.
You may have seen a bunch of these before, but they're definitely worth watching again.
Also, if I missed any, feel free to link to them in the comments.
Heck, Let's Watch It Again
I can't stop watching replays of this hit.
Words cannot describe how awesome this hit is.
When I first saw it during the game, I was worried that it might've been a head shot, but in-game replays showed it was a perfectly clean hit.
My only gripe is how players feel the need to drop the gloves or wash some faces to defend their teammate. It's not just the Sens, obviously; every team does it.
You know it's a clean hit when Da Costa skates back to the bench and tells Alfie: "My fault."
What's the point in fighting after a clean hit? To eliminate clean hits from the game?
Anyway...let's get into the actual top 10.
10) Phaneuf Hits Shelley, Leafs vs. Sharks, Feb. 8, 2010
It can be tough to line tough guys up because they tend to be aware of good hitting opportunities.
Here, Shelley gets nailed by Phaneuf shortly after receiving a pass from behind the net.
This hit isn't as spectacular as some of Phaneuf's other hits, but the fact that it was on Jody Shelley, a tough guy, makes it pretty good.
It gets better because Shelley takes a penalty for retaliating.
On the ensuing power play, Phaneuf takes a shot that is blocked, but the puck finds its way onto Kessel's stick who promptly snaps it home to tie the game.
9) Phaneuf Hits Beleskey, Leafs vs. Ducks, Jan. 20, 2011
Matt Beleskey decided to take a nap along the boards and paid dearly for it.
Maybe the Ducks on the ice realized it was a totally clean hit, or maybe they were too busy defending against a good scoring chance, but I'm just glad no rough stuff happened immediately after the hit.
8) Phaneuf Hits Shelley and Betts, Leafs vs. Flyers, Oct. 23, 2010
Here, Phaneuf takes a good run at Jody Shelley again, but the real highlight in this video is his big hit on Blair Betts.
Betts was going after a loose puck in the corner and saw Phaneuf going after it as well...except Phaneuf was going after him, not the puck.
7) Phaneuf Hits Parrish, Leafs vs. Sabres, Mar. 12, 2011
Whoever passed the puck to Mark Parrish could have been a little smarter about it, but then again, Parrish should've been more aware.
Phaneuf was not only on the ice, he was standing at the blue line waiting for exactly this kind of opportunity to present itself.
Thanks, Mark Parrish, for this wonderful clip.
6) Phaneuf Hits Lovejoy, Leafs vs. Penguins, Oct. 13, 2010
Ben Lovejoy can't be faulted too much for taking this big hit from Phaneuf because he took it to make a play.
Credit Lovejoy for creating a glorious scoring chance against the Leafs.
Still, it was a thunderous hit.
Unfortunately for Lovejoy and the Pens, the scoring chance turns into nothing as Jonas Gustavsson stones Pascal Dupuis to preserve the Leafs' one-goal lead.
5) Phaneuf Hits Conboy, Leafs vs. Senators, Sept. 19, 2011
Tim Conboy should have seen this coming. He skated right past Phaneuf to see if he could help out his mates in the corner.
Before he could get to the scrum, the puck squirted loose, so Conboy spun to retrieve it.
Of course, Phaneuf was standing exactly where he was five seconds before that, so...BAM!
4) Phaneuf Hits Foligno, Leafs vs. Senators, Feb. 19, 2011
Nick Foligno, in his infinite wisdom, decides to go one-on-two with his head down, with one of the two being Phaneuf.
Sometimes you feel sorry for guys who get hit, but other times, you just gotta laugh and shake your head.
3) Phaneuf Hits Tyrell, Leafs vs. Lightning, Jan. 25, 2011
Nothing much to say about this hit except that it is a beauty.
It's pretty cool how it occurs only five seconds into the game, though.
2) Phaneuf Hits Ruutu, Leafs vs. Hurricanes, Jan. 24, 2011
Of course Joe Bowen had to mess up the name. Twice. Was it Tlusty? LaRose?
But Greg Millen finally corrects him and tells him it was Tuomo Ruutu that got flattened by Phaneuf.
Anyway, I forget who passed it to Ruutu, but I hope whoever it was bought Ruutu a drink after the game to make up for it.
What a terrible pass and what an amazing hit.
1) Phaneuf Annihilates Komisarek, Leafs vs. Flyers, Mar. 3, 2011
Thank you, Sportsnet crew, for ruining a perfectly hilarious moment with not one, but two, poorly executed Kit Kat commercials.
But hey, what a hit on Komisarek.
If Komisarek needs to get decked to be on top of his game, I would suggest that the Leafs do so during every pre-game warm-up.
We could have a real stud on our hands.