Alex Ovechkin had another big week in the hits department. After recording 19 in four contests during the week of Dec. 15, he added another 17 hits in three games last week. He hasn't recorded less than three hits in a contest since Dec. 6. He currently ranks fifth in the hits list with 126. Teammate Brooks Orpik wasn't far behind with 15 hits in three contests, including seven versus Orpik's former squad, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Orpik is just ahead of Ovechkin in the hits leaderboard with 134 in 35 matches. Anaheim's Nate Thompson was credited with 11 hits in three contests. He`s now up to 97 hits in 38 games this season after recording 114 in 81 contests in 2013-14. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn has recorded at least three hits in each of his last four contests. He has 81 hits in just 28 contests this season.
Simon Despres delivered 10 hits in three games last week, but he was also credited with 10 blocks. Between the two categories, hits are definitely his strong suit, but he still has a respectable 53 blocks in 34 games. No one is even close to Kris Russell though, who has 111 blocks in 35 contests in 2014-15. The Calgary Flames defenseman added another seven in just two contests last week. His teammate, Dennis Wideman, got in front of eight shots last week. That gives him 82 blocks in 36 games, which is good for 10th place on the leaderboard. Washington Capitals blueliner John Carlson led the pack with 11 blocks in three games last week. He's one of four players tied for fourth place with 66 blocks this season.
Antoine Vermette won a commanding 44 of his 61 draws in three games last week. That helped his faceoff success rate in 2014-15 climb to 55.7%. Ryan Johansen claimed 32 of his 50 faceoffs last week, giving him a 53 winning percentage so far this season. That's a mild improvement over his 52.8% success rate in 2013-14. Nicklas Backstrom has won 54.9% of his faceoffs this season and last week was another productive one for him. He came out on top in 35 of his 59 draws, including 15 of 22 against Ottawa on Dec. 22. Paul Stastny only took 29 faceoffs over two contests last week, but he won 20 of them. He's on track to set a new career-high with his current 56% success rate.