Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/23/13
Looking like a hunter stalking prey Radko Gudas lined up Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak and delivered a text book hip check sending Brodziak head-over-heels into the side boards. The play elicited a roar from the crowd and a retaliation penalty from Wild defenseman Marco Scandella. When executed properly the hip check is a lost art form capable of giving a lift to the bench and forcing opposing players to be on alert and keep their heads up. Gudas might be the best around right now at doing just that. “He picks his spots his timing is down and sometimes he does put himself out of control but he is one of those guys that has an innate ability to know when you are coming” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s not going to be long until everybody in the league realizes when he is on the ice. And that’s one of those guys that you are really happy is on your bench and not the other.’’ That imposing physical element used to be the only part of Gudas’ game he liked to play. The 6-foot 205-pound defenseman would go on a seek-and-destroy mission each time he jumped over the boards looking to deliver the big hit. Often however that came with a sacrifice — taking himself out of position and exposing his defensive partner to odd-man rushes. Having just that physical part of his game would have kept him in hockey for a long time and he would have been a fan favorite wherever he landed. But it wouldn’t have resulted in his ascension to a regular spot in a National Hockey League lineup. So as the Lightning rookie who appeared in 22 games with Tampa Bay last season made his way up the depth chart in the American Hockey League he started to round out his game. He learned poise with the puck in the defensive zone. He became better at making decisions to get out of his own end. He became a reliable defender the coaching staff can count on.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Matt Ryan gets creative with shovel pass TD

Report: Tomlin, Steelers fined Antonio Brown $10,000

Report: Kelly a candidate to replace Shanahan as Falcons OC

Royals release statement on death of Yordano Ventura

Sanders, Ware think Romo would be good fit for Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Reports: Yordano Ventura killed in car accident

Report: Nelson expected to play vs. Falcons with kevlar padding

Irsay: Pagano safe, Peyton not in picture as potential Colts GM

LeBron James: Gregg Popovich ‘factors a lot’ into 2020 Olympics decision

Cuban softens stance on superstar status of Westbrook

Ric Flair gets into Twitter fight with Panthers player over Falcons fandom

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Ranking the top three conferences in college basketball

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker