Grit and sandpaper go a long way come playoff time in the NHL. Toughness is an essential factor in teams making Stanley Cup runs and when a hard-nosed player liked David Backes goes down, the results can change, as is certainly apparent in the St. Louis and Chicago series.
Below are the top five tough guys (we’re talking effective tough guys who can also put points on the board, not pure goons) who’ve laid some of their claim to fame in the most essential of games by laying some smack down.
5. Ken Linseman
Linseman did some major damage for the Bruins in 1987-88 when he recorded 25 points in 23 games, but he also knew how to throw his weight around, earning 56 penalty minutes that same year. He was a major factor in the Bruins making the Stanley Cup final that season and was also a key contributor in the Flyers’ playoff runs of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
The Kingston, On., native was a scrappy 175 pound bulldog, which is why he’s still beloved by Bruins and Flyers’ fans to this day.