One of the things I’ve noticed in recent years, and I’m sure a lot of other hockey fans have noticed, is the dwindling number of hip-checks in the game, let alone perfectly executed ones.
Guys either try too hard to pull one off and totally whiff, they mistime their all or nothing moment, or worse, they mistime a hipcheck in a bad spot and end up giving up a breakaway or an odd-man rush.
So I was both surprised and probably a little too excited over this beautiful Johnny Boychuk hip-check on Jay Beagle as Beagle skated down the left wing in the Bruins’ zone during the second period of tonight’s Game 7.
The showmanship could have been better (it’s always spectacular to see the player getting hip-checked go flying head over heels) and Boychuck takes himself out while executing the hit, but at the end of the day, he timed it perfectly and succeeded in doing what you’re supposed to do when hitting in hockey, separate the attacking player from the puck while gaining possession for your own team.
Here’s hoping we get to see some more solid hits like this one over the next six weeks.