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Mark Stuart led all skaters with 18 hits in four contests last week. He was credited with seven checks against Ottawa on January 2nd and he recorded five hits, with five penalty minutes, against Boston this past Saturday. Stuart has 93 hits in 32 games, which ranks him second on the Jets behind only scrappy winger Evander Kane, who has 104. New York Islanders hit machine Matt Martin added 16 collisions in three games to his league-leading total of 206. The next closest player to him is Toronto's Cody Franson, who has 153 hits. Nashville forward Matt Hendricks and Columbus winger Nick Foligno registered 13 hits apiece. Both players are known for their forechecking attributes. Hendricks has amassed 84 hits in 39 outings, while Foligno sits second on the Blue Jackets with 108 hits in 36 matches going into Monday night's action. Foligno also added a goal and two assists in three games last week.
Josh Gorges led the pack with 18 blocks in three appearances last week. He picked up eight against Carolina on December 31st and he followed that up with seven against Dallas on January 2nd. Gorges is second in the NHL with 117 shot defenses. The shot-blocking specialist is on pace to crack 200 for the second time in his career. Nashville captain Shea Weber turned aside 14 shots in four contests. He also produced a goal, four assists and eight hits to fill several categories for his fantast owners. Kevin Bieksa is famous for his rugged style and displayed that last week, while earning 13 blocks and eight hits in four games. Unfortunately, he also had a minus-6 rating, but he did manage to add a goal and 11 shots. Mike Fisher led all forwards with seven blocked shots over four outings. His fearlessness also placed him in the top 10 among forwards in blocked shots with 37 in 36 games. He had a strong showing offensively as well with two goals and five assists.
Boston's Patrice Bergeron owned the faceoff dot again last week by winning 56 of his 78 draws in three games. He had a 70 percent-plus success rates on two occasions and took 23 of 31 puck drops against the Islanders on New Year's Eve. He also added a goal and two assists during that time. Bergeron is the current faceoff king with a 62.1 winning percentage on 905 total draws. Jordan Staal was the only other pivot to top 50 wins in the circle last week. He was victorious on 51 of the 87 faceoffs he took in four games. His best performance came on December 31st against Montreal when he posted a 74.1 success rate on 27 draws. Vancouver middleman Brad Richardson posted 40 wins and had just 28 losses in the faceoff circle in four matches last week. The former Los Angeles King leads the Canucks with a 52.6 winning percentage, but he's taken far less draws than Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin. Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars won 38 faceoffs and lost only 13 in three outings. He surpassed the 80% win mark twice and went 12 for 14 in the circle against Los Angeles on December 31st.