Hockey fans love big hits.
The building erupts, announcers talk about momentum swinging over to the other team, and if it's big enough the hit it will no doubt make highlight reels across the league.
But sometimes hits -- and attempted hits -- can be bad.
If you're getting a lot of them and outhitting your opponent on the stat sheet it can be a sign you don't have the puck enough and are losing on the scoreboard (example: the Chicago Blackhawks are last in the NHL in hits this season). And if you try to go for a big one it can take you out of position, leave your teammate in no-man's land, and put your team in a position to give up a scoring chance or even a goal going the other direction.
That's kind of what happened to Mark Fistric and the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night when he took himself what had to be 15 feet out of position to try to deliver a big hit on Nashville's Brandon Yip, long after he passed the puck.
This isn't necessarily a commentary on Fistric's play overall (he's been solid for the Oilers this season, and this is just one isolated play and by no means a representation of an entire season) but a commentary on how going for big hits and trying to "finish your check" can sometimes lead to problems. Fistric just happens to be the example.
And it's a great example.