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Draft Guide

Phaneuf, Leafs get gritty

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Hits

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Leo Komarov led all skaters with 21 hits in four games.  He also got his offensive game into gear as well with his first goal of the year, along with a pair of assists this past weekend.  Komarov sits third in the NHL with 63 hits in 15 games.  Dion Phaneuf amassed 19 hits to finish just behind his teammate.  The Leafs captain also ranks in the top 10 for body checks this season with a total of 51.  Phaneuf collected a goal and two helpers in his four appearances too, in addition to six blocks.  Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen is doing his best to try to stay in the lineup by being physical.  He was credited with 18 hits in four matches and he had seven blocks.  Cowen also produced his first point of the season when he earned an assist against Toronto on Sunday.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes picked up 17 body collisions in three contests.  The bulk of his hits came against Anaheim (8) and Toronto (7), which are both physical squads.  Ekman-Larsson has eight points and 29 hits in 14 games this campaign.  

Blocks

Marc Staal doesn't generate much offensively, which his two assists and 20 shots in 14 games attests to, but he was credited with 11 blocks and eight hits in four games last week.  He sits third on the Rangers with 23 blocks.  Teammate Kevin Klein also added 11 blocks to his season total of 27.  Unfortunately, he can't be counted for much offense (two goals, two assists in 13 games) either.  Washington blueliner Brooks Orpik turned aside 11 shot attempts and he posted 14 hits in only three contests.  His most productive night came against Carolina in a 4-3 overtime loss on Nov. 8 when he had six blocks and four hits.  The stay-at-home defender has four assists and 20 penalty minutes in 14 games to go with 51 hits and 37 blocks.  Toronto winger Richard Panik was the leader among forwards for blocks last week when he picked up six.  He had his best week with the Leafs since he was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay by tallying nine hits, two goals, one assist and seven shots over four matches.     

Draws

Claude Giroux led all the pack with 58 faceoff wins in three games last week.  He struggled against Florida  on Nov. 6, losing 18 of the 34 draws he took, but he was was nearly unbeatable versus Edmonton two days earlier when he won 20 of 26.  Giroux was also good on the scoresheet with two goals three assists last week  The Flyers captain has taken the most faceoffs (352) in the NHL heading into this week and he's won 55.1 percent of them.  Toronto's Tyler Bozak was the only other player to win 50-plus puck drops last week.  He emerged victorious on 52 draws and lost 32 in four matches.  He topped 60 percent in three contests and finished with a 53.3 winning percentage on Sunday against Ottawa.  Bozak ranks 12th in the league with a 55.6 efficiency rating on the draw this season.  Kyle Turris has struggled in the circle this year, but he turned in a very good week for the period ending Oct. 9.  He was better than 60 percent in three of his four outings to bring his winning percentage up to 49 percent on the season.  Turris won 47 of  79 faceoffs for the week.  Anaheim's Ryan Kesler was a winner on 43 of 66 draws in three games last week.   Kesler also chipped in an assist in each match.  His best night in the faceoff dot came against his former Vancouver teammates when he he won 14 and lost only seven.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on NBC Sports Edge. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.