May 22, 2011, 5:32 PM EST
If the hip check is a dying art form, then Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard created one of the last great masterpieces.
In his first appearance since April 30th, Ballard made a big impression by delivering a wicked hip check on San Jose Sharks forward Jamie McGinn, sending the young player into a near-cartwheel. One must think that the check was especially satisfying for Canucks fans, considering the fact that McGinn’s two Game 3 hits resulted in injuries to defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome.
Some people (including Mike Milbury) wondered if Ballard should have gotten a clipping penalty for the hit, but considering the mind-numbing festival of penalties that dominated the game’s first 40 minutes, it’s nice that the referees let it go. (Feel free to debate the merits of whether or not it should have been a penalty in the comments, though.)
Watch the video below for what might be the best hit of the playoffs so far.
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