Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is a veteran shot-blocker, but as he found out Sunday, no NHLer is ever quite prepared to take a Zdeno Chara slap shot to the midsection.
Veteran Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is famous for his willingness to block shots. But it takes a special kind of NHLer to put his body in front of a slap shot from Bruins behemoth Zdeno Chara. And as he showed Sunday by taking a shot from Chara directly in the stomach, Hjalmarsson is one of those special kind of guys.
Chara – who still holds the NHL All-Star record for hardest shot (108.8 km/hour) – wound up and fired toward the Hawks net, but Hjalmarsson was directly in the line of fire and took the puck right in his mid-section: (GIF via Reddit user ersal)
After the game was over, the 27-year-old Hjalmarsson said his mid-section was far less sore than he was about the Hawks’ 6-2 loss to Boston:
Niklas Hjalmarsson, after taking a Zdeno Chara slap shot to the gut: “I’m doing great. It’s just the loss that hurts.” #Blackhawks
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 22, 2015