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"He's amazing at it" - Jets players on the art of blocking shots

Hendricks, Wheeler, Little, and others on teammates who excel at a tough skill

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Forward Matt Hendricks skated with the Winnipeg Jets at practice again this morning in a non-contact yellow jersey as he continues to recover from an injury that he sustained blocking a shot in the pre-season.

Hendricks is well known for his shot blocking and he had an infamous moment back in January of 2016 when he took a shot in a tender area.

"A couple years ago in Dallas I took one in the can and it shattered my can pretty much. That was pretty sore," said Hendricks with a few of his Jet teammates laughing while he told his story. "At the end of the day it doesn't get much worse than that."

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With that story in mind, other players in the Jets dressing room looked back on their careers and came up with the best answer they could to the question:

Who is the best shot blocking teammate you've had in your career?

MATT HENDRICKS

"(Washington teammate) Boyd Gordon. (It's) a different level at the NHL doing it when you're eating pucks from Johnny Boychuk, Shea Weber, Dustin Byfuglien, and countless other guys. He was amazing at it. When it comes down to it, it's just making the choice if you're going to get in the lane or not get in the lane. He always made that choice to get in the lane."

BLAKE WHEELER

"We had a few guys in Boston who were (good at it). I mean, Big Z (Zdeno Chara) was so big that he ate everything up, he was a good shot blocker. Shane Hnidy was a great shot blocker, he had all the (extra) gear on. All the extra stuff on, he was a good shot blocker. Played with Brent Sopel for a couple games in Atlanta and he was always a good shot blocker too."

BRYAN LITTLE

"I would say (Chris) Thorburn. He got a piece of a lot of pucks and just the way he was one of the first guys I've seen kind of go out on one knee, kind of down (going out) to his defenceman. I mean, it took some guts. He's going down, pucks coming face high at him. So I think it was a mixture of how good he was at it and the bravery to try that, so I would say him."

STEVE MASON

"My last couple of years (in Philadelphia) I had Nick Schultz. He was just so good with it. He took the right sight lines away, it didn't matter who was teeing it up he was fearless to go down. He was definitely the best."

ANDREW COPP

"It's got to be Tyler Motte (Copp's teammate at the University of Michigan). That guy just loves to eat pucks, I don't know why. He lives for it. But he's not like psycho at it, he's just in the lane. I don't know how he blocks so many shots."

PAUL MAURICE

 "You know what I've coached a lot of guys. On the back end (of his coaching career) I would have to say Dennis Seidenberg (in Carolina) was fearless. Up front, I don't know who the best one is but Scotty Walker (Carolina) was the kind of guy who would put his face in front of shots and I've seen Matt Hendricks do it an awful lot. He's a little more careful with it wearing the yellow jersey. But you'll see him get in front of it any way he can."

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