The “hits” statistic in the NHL is a dubious one. After all, puck possession should be the primary objective for any team, and chances are you’re checking someone to gain a puck you don’t possess.
The other problem with the stat is the nebulous accounting that undercuts its credibility. Some arena scorekeepers determine “a hit” differently. Some shower home players with hits like they're confetti; see the “Cal Clutterbuck multiplier” that used to occur with the Minnesota Wild, wherein the checking leader would seemingly be credited with three hits for every one he delivered, like it was a combo attack in “Mortal Kombat.”
All that said: Matt Martin of the New York Islanders is on pace to do something no one in NHL history has done.
Matt Martin could become the League’s first 400-hit man.
Martin leads the NHL with 134 hits in 27 games, which is 31 more than Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings in second place. It's a rather absurd number -- what, is he hitting people during the anthems? -- but hey, manually tabulated stats are manually tabulated stats.
Assuming Martin plays 82 games – he’s missed just two in the last two seasons – the left winger would is projected to finish with 407 hits.
(Even at 80 games, he current career high, Martin is right in the neighborhood at 397 hits.)
Martin already holds the NHL record for hits in a season with 374, set in 2011-12, which he’s obviously on pace to break this season.
So, in summary – MEMO TO NASSAU COLISEUM OFFICIALS SCORERS, PLEASE GIVE MATT MARTIN ALL THE HITS THANKS.