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Open-Ice Hits

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Most hits occur along the boards. No big surprise there. But how many hits is "most"? I classified any hit inside the red area below as an open-ice hit:

Openice_medium

Approximately 75% of all hits occur within 10 feet of the net or the boards, while less than 5% happen in "open-ice." After the jump, the league leaders in open-ice hits...

This table includes both 2007-08 and 2008-09. There isn't much overlap between the two lists - the hitters are big defensemen and aggressive forwards; the guys who get hit include a lot more playmakers and scorers. I was surprised to see both Darcy Tucker and Sean Avery in the top 12 for taking hits - perhaps there are a lot of players in the league who are gunning for them in open ice.

Hit For # Hit Against #
Dustin Brown 47 Alexander Ovechkin 46
Douglas Murray 39 Evgeni Malkin 37
Keith Ballard 33 Sidney Crosby 31
Alexander Ovechkin 30 Dustin Brown 26
Garnet Exelby 28 Derek Roy 22
Brooks Orpik 27 Ales Hemsky 21
Dion Phaneuf 27 Ryan Kesler 21
Cory Sarich 26 Tuomo Ruutu 21
James Wisniewski 25 Alexander Semin 20
David Backes 25 Valtteri Filppula 20
Toni Lydman 24 Darcy Tucker 19
Ed Jovanovski 23 Sean Avery 19
Niklas Kronwall 23 Scottie Upshall 19
Ruslan Salei 22 Matt Stajan 19
Chris Phillips 21 Brooks Laich 19
Dan Girardi 21 Loui Eriksson 19
Martin Hanzal 21 Chad LaRose 18
Dan Hamhuis 20 Mike Richards 18
Freddy Meyer 20 Devin Setoguchi 18
Ryan Malone 20 Alex Kovalev 17
Brent Seabrook 20 Corey Perry 17
Anton Volchenkov 19 Mikhail Grabovski 17
Shane Doan 18 Mike Ribeiro 16
Hal Gill 18 Erik Cole 16
Brendan Witt 18 Patrick O'Sullivan 16
Andreas Lilja 18 Maxime Talbot 16
Colton Orr 18
Steve Ott 18
Tuomo Ruutu 18