My favourite thing about following a hockey team closely is getting to know the unique tendencies of its players. I've watched Keith "Hips" Ballard for half an NHL season now, and unlike Drew Miller, I saw this hit coming.
I wasn't surprised, just like I'm never surprised when Jannik Hansen causes a turnover on the forecheck, or Kevin Bieksa keeps the puck in at the blue line. I can tell when these guys are in their element. It amazes me how every member of a hockey team can be so very, very different, and it's rewarding to me, as a fan, when I become cognizant of those differences. Keith Ballard seizes every opportunity to throw a hip check. It's his thing. It excites me every time. Golly, what a hit this is.
I like Drew Miller's reaction. He gets up and looks at the ref like, I don't remember what happened, exactly that had to be a penalty. Nope. So fresh, so clean.
How does it stack up against this season's other fine ruinations? Is it the best? Is it in the top three?