Open-ice hits in hockey don’t happen too often, but when they do they’re usually pretty spectacular.
Devin Shore of the Dallas Stars was crossing through the neutral zone and thought he was in a relatively safe position. Sam Bennett of the Calgary Flames had a different idea in mind, crossing across the neutral zone to deliver a major open-ice hit on Shore.
Shore is guilty of a couple of things which led to this check. First, he’s following the puck a bit too long. He was trying to chip the puck into the Flames’ zone, but he did a bit too much and watched the puck a bit too long which left him in a vulnerable position. Next, he saw Bennett but assumed that he would continue on his original route back into the defensive zone. He notices Bennett alter his course, but by then it’s too late to avoid contact.
The best part about this hit is that it’s a completely legal check. Bennett does everything right (doesn’t leap, leads with his shoulder, doesn’t target the head) to make sure he doesn’t get whistled. Shore tried to leap out of the way at the last second, but instead of missing the hit, it produced a pretty epic spin through the air at the point of contact.
Open-ice hits are rare, but they’re pretty awesome when they happen.