Watch the Video of Canucks' Keith Ballard’s Hip Check Send Jamie McGinn Flying in Game 4
When people who aren’t fans think of the NHL, they think of fighting and rough play. If you are one of those people, this video isn’t for you.
In Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver defender Keith Ballard executed what could’ve been one of the cleanest, most effective hip checks in the playoffs I have ever seen.
In the video, Sharks forward Jamie McGinn charges at Ballard, but Ballard sees him coming from a mile away. While McGinn is the instigator of the contact, the more experienced defender Ballard knows what McGinn is doing before he does.
Ballard lowers himself and lets McGinn’s momentum do most of the work. While he could have done a lot of damage to McGinn’s knee, Ballard did nothing wrong.
When you learn to play defense on the ice or on roller blades, you are taught how to pinch people against the boards and use their momentum to flip them. It was the best part of playing defense.
A well-timed, perfectly executed hip check, along the boards usually, can result in a beautiful flip that would make Olympic divers proud.
The NHL playoffs are full of great hits like this and these playoffs are living up to the hype.
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