Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/05/09 at 11:22 AM ET
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michalek, 26, led the NHL last season with 271 blocked shots, yet he played in all 82 games. In four seasons, he’s missed only seven games, all at the start of the 2007-08 season, with a broken hand. Michalek also is the average ice-time leader among the top 10 shotblockers with 22:46 minutes per game.
“I think that most of the players in the NHL play through bumps and bruises, it’s part of the game,” Michalek said. “I’ve been hurt and played through injuries. That’s the life of a hockey player.”
Michalek said shotblocking is instinctive and reactive, opportunities develop quickly and don’t lend themselves to analysis and preparation.
“Actually, it’s not too bad,” Michalek said. “I was lucky last season, nothing really hurt me and I didn’t break any bones. Of course, it hurts to get hit in a bad spot, but that’s part of hockey, a physical game. I’m guessing that I place my pads really well. I don’t know why for certain, but it may come from when I was young and my older brother and I played street hockey. I was the goalie and he was shooting at me.”
read on and a list of the top shot blockers in the game today…
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