Ryan Hartman didn’t find his way onto the score sheet in Game One, but the impact he had on the ice was certainly felt throughout the game for the Minnesota Wild.
If you’re looking for a recap of the game, GPW Contributor Aaron Heckmann has got you covered here.
I wanted to write up a piece focusing on the play of Ryan Hartman from Game One because my goodness he was fantastic. We’ve discussed previously how the Fourth Line of Donato-Koivu-Hartman is a tough and formidable combination to play against, but last night, Ryan Hartman put on a clinic.
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In 13:20 seconds of ice time, Ryan Hartman put three Shots on Goal, threw three hits, and blocked a shot. Just a good, tough stat sheet for #38.
Throughout the season, I very rarely found myself being upset with how Ryan Hartman was playing. He just plays with a hard edge and still manages to play responsibly and with a bit of skill. The best UFA signing of the Paul Fenton era.
In yesterday’s game specifically, he was just lights out on the forecheck. Always putting a body on the puck carrier in the offensive zone. In the first period, helped force a turnover, which let the Wild keep the puck in the offensive zone and allow the first Vancouver Canucks Penalty to happen and ultimately the Fiala goal.
Hartman was also very good at getting at clogging up the open ice through the neutral zone and making the Canucks earn every inch of ice. He caught a high stick from Tyler Toffoli doing this, that went uncalled, but I don’t blame the Refs for missing this. It was an awkward collision and seemed fairly unintentional. By the letter of the law, it’s a penalty but would have needed a real sharp eye to catch it.
What may have been the highlight of the night for Ryan Hartman was the hit he gave to Chris Tanev.
Sometimes pictures and gifs don’t need any explanation. This is one of them.
With about 10 minutes to go in the third, Ryan Hartman took a hard spear from Michael Ferland while sitting on the bench. This whole episode likely gets caused by Luke Kunin holding Ferland’s stick, but Ferland speared Hartman. Now he may have just been going for anybody, but Hartman took it in stride and Luke Kunin and Jordan Greenway were ready to defend their man. Hockey Wilderness at SB Nation with the tweet of the night.
Scratch that, they immediately topped it after Roussel was ejected with about a minute to play.
Going after Hartman too? Huh, that’s weird. Maybe he was making an impact the entire night? Who’s to say?
Ryan Hartman might have been built for the playoffs. Doesn’t cross the line too much, plays hard, physical, and can beat you with skill. A great addition to the team and is a sneaky impact factor for the Minnesota Wild going forward. I’ll be watching closely every time #38 takes the ice.
Stats from NHL.com