Reminiscent of Scott Stevens’ best days with the New Jersey Devils, Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf has delivered in the toughness department during this post-season.
Monday night in Pittsburgh, his first-period open-ice, and totally clean hit on Penguins forward Bryan Rust sent a clear message: Do. Not. Mess. With. The. Senators.
During a big shift in the second period, Phaneuf planted a couple of hits on Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
Phaneuf, selected ninth overall in the legendary 2003 NHL Entry Draft, spent the better part of five seasons with Calgary before moving to Toronto for seven. Phaneuf has excelled in Ottawa playing second-fiddle to Erik Karlsson. It seems that being number one in Calgary and Toronto was good, but in Ottawa, it’s been just the tonic for Phaneuf.
Here’s his big hit on Rust, a key Pittsburgh playoff performer.