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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hit parade

I don't know if you've ever looked at the stat sheets that the NHL has produced for every game since the lockout, but they're full of good stuff. One stat that's fascinating is hits. Not only do they keep who doles out the hits, but they also note who received the hit. Hitter and hittee. Is that English?

A lot of the plays on the game reports aren't tracked. Hits are. But being hit isn't.

So here are the hits taken totals for the Red Wings this season.


Filppula 21
Cleary 21
Abdelkader 15
Leino 11
Datsyuk 11
Holmstrom 10
Maltby 9
Zetterberg 8
Franzen 6
Eaves 3
Bertuzzi 3
Helm 3
Draper 2
Williams 2

Stuart 16
Rafalski 14
Ericsson 12
Kronwall 9
Lidstrom 7
Lebda 6
Meech 1

This is why I love tracking these numbers. I thought from watching the Wings the past four years that this stat would be called the Cleary index. I swear that Cleary puts himself in prone positions more than anyone in the league to make a play, always reaching, leaning. That's a good thing for the team, but a bad thing for his health.

Well, I was surprised that Filppula has been as much of a hit taker as Cleary so far, but the Finn has taken the same number (21) as Cleary.

I would theorize that young players take more hits than old players. Also, styles would dictate how often a player gets hit ... in other words, Cleary will get hit more than Lidstrom regardless of age. And one other theory I have is that tough guys won't get hit as often as their teammates.

As for youth, Abdelkader gets hit a ton. He's taken 15 hits, but that's 16 hits per 60 minutes of ice time. Filppula has taken 21 hits, but that's 10 hits per 60 minutes of ice time. But another youngster, Helm, has taken just 3 hits which is 4.9 hits per 60 minutes.

As for toughness, May has had 29:44 of ice time ... and he still hasn't taken a hit. Bertuzzi has taken just 1.6 hits per 60 minutes of ice time.

Here's a list of individual hits taken, given, total hits and differential ...

FORWARDS, Hits Taken-Hits Given-Total Hits (Diff)
May 0-13-13 (+13)
Draper 2-9-11 (+7)
Bertuzzi 3-9-12 (+6)
Helm 3-8-11 (+5)
Franzen 6-11-17 (+5)
Williams 2-6-8 (+4)
Abdelkader 15-17-32 (+2)
Eaves 3-4-7 (+1)
Maltby 9-9-18 (0)
Zetterberg 8-5-13 (-3)
Holmstrom 10-6-16 (-4)
Datsyuk 11-5-16 (-6)
Cleary 21-12-33 (-9)
Leino 11-2-13 (-9)
Filppula 21-5-26 (-16)

DEFENSEMEN, Hits Taken-Hits Given-Total Hits (Diff)
Stuart 16-25-41 (+9)
Kronwall 9-15-24 (+6)
Meech 1-4-5 (+3)
Lidstrom 7-5-12 (-2)
Ericsson 12-9-21 (-3)
Lebda 6-1-7 (-5)
Rafalski 14-4-18 (-10)

And remember, it's not always better to give than to receive hits. Giving a hit can hurt just as much as getting hit. May has given 13 hits and taken none, but don't think that his body has fewer bruises than Leino who has given 2 and taken 11.


Blogger James said...

I think you swapped May's numbers... it should be 0-13-13 (-13)

October 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Good catch James. It has been switched.

October 21, 2009 at 11:23 AM 
Anonymous Hockeysteve54 said...

Great Job, Bruce. I love the stat idea. My days are a little bit sadder when I don't see a post from you.

October 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM 
Anonymous Justin said...

Actually if you asked me to guess who leads the Wings in hits taken before I saw the list, my first guess would have been Filppula. I've been noticing his tendency to get hit a lot for a few years now.

Also, in order to get hit (legally anyway) you generally need to be the puck carrier. Guys who don't carry the puck much - like Brad May - most likely won't be receiving that many hits. Just another factor to consider.

October 22, 2009 at 2:20 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Hey Justin. I totally agree about puck possession. Thought about that when I was thinking of May not taking a single hit yet.

October 22, 2009 at 2:50 PM 

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