One of the highlights of Saturday night's 4-2 victory by the Nashville Predators over the Philadelphia Flyers came early in the second period when the Flyer's Wayne Simmonds tried to make a move past Predators rookie, Ryan Ellis and Ellis delivered one of the more dramatic hip checks ever seen in Bridgestone Arena.
After the game, Ellis described the play. "It was kind of spur of the moment. He made a nice move to cut in and I just couldn't let him off the hook so I had to get in his way. I didn't think I could run him over so I had to get under him and since he's a big guy, he went over the top."
When asked if he had thrown a hip check that big before, Ellis replied, "When I was younger, I probably threw some bigger ones but it was a decent hit and I was fortunate enough to get in his way."
On the next shift, Ellis and Simmonds appeared to exchange works but according to Ellis if was all good. "I played against him in the OHL so it was a friendly thing. He's a nice guy and a great player too."
The play will probably get the most highlight play on the sports networks since Craig Smith's missed empty netter earlier this season. Ellis laughed when asked if he would be watching SportsCenter after the game. "I don't know if I get that in the hotel. Maybe, maybe not, I don't think I'll be up that late."
Ellis has really started to fit in well at the NHL level and has two goals and two assists in his first eight games with the Predators. His confidence level is also on the rise. "I'm starting to jump in the play a little more which is my game and I'm trying to contribute offensively as well as defensively so it's jut game by game getting a little more experience and a little more comfortable."
The Predators will travel to New York on Sunday and face the Islanders on Monday (noon) and the Rangers on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.).
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass