The Toronto Maple Leafs: Delivering the NHL's Five Biggest Hits of the Year
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing an exceptionally tough brand of hockey this year, maybe more so than at any time in recent history.
Leafs forwards and defensemen alike have been grinding down the opposition on a nightly basis, exactly how Brian Burke and I planned things! I make no secret that I love my hockey played exactly as the Leafs brash GM envisions it: physical, to put it mildly.
I wanted to highlight a few of the biggest collisions this year across the entire NHL, and they just so happen to involve a few of the boys in blue. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Dec 5, 2011: Dion Phaneuf on Michael Sauer
Dion Phaneuf's most recent candidate for hit of the year.
Nov 27, 2011: Matt "The Freight Train" Frattin on Francois Beauchemin
This kid is unbelievably strong on his skates. In my opinion, he is the North American version of Nikolai Kulemin. He is going to start hitting and scoring a lot more as time goes on.
Nov 30, 2011: Matt "The Freight Train" Frattin on Adam McQuaid
Just don't mess with this kid! You are going to get hurt!
Nov 25, 2011: Luke Schenn on Tomas Vincour
What more do you really have to say about Luke Schenn's game? This hit speaks for itself.
After a rocky start, he is more than finding his stride physically and mentally. He is extraordinarily confident with the puck right now, which is the biggest improvement after being paired with young Jake Gardiner. Schenn leads the Leafs in hits and is only getting more physical as the year goes along.
Double digits in hits against the Devils on Tuesday night! 'Nuff said.
Oct 8, 2011: Dion Phaneuf on Stephane DaCosta
Gotta end it with a bang. This could very well stand as hit of the year. Stephane DaCosta won't make this mistake again, or he won't be playing in the NHL for very long!
Think You Can Beat That?
There you have it folks! Some of the most devastating, CLEAN collisions of the year so far of any team in the NHL. Provide links to some of your own favourites in the comments section and see if you can top these!