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Dallas Stars 2011-12 Play Of The Year: Hits Nominees Group One

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This week is all about the hits. Steve Ott knows a thing or two about that.
This week is all about the hits. Steve Ott knows a thing or two about that.

Every off season, we here at Defending Big D vote to determine which play (hit, goal or save) was the play of the year. It seems as though in the glamor of the Jamie Benn break away goal the hard hits of Mark Fistric or the snappy glove save of Kari Lehtonen are easily overlooked.

This season, we're going to vote on a play of the year in each of the three categories: hits, saves and goals. This week, we're looking at the hits. Often times explosive, and sometimes even border line, hits within a game can shift momentum or send a message. And sometimes they can lead to unexpected humor, like putting a guy through the glass on opening night.

After the jump, we have the candidates for hit of the year for the Dallas Stars for the first half of the season - October, November and December. The hits of the year candidates for the second half of the season will come out on Wednesday, and the top three vote-getters in each group will have a run off on Thursday to determine the hit of the year.

Vote on your favorite for this group after the jump!

Jamie Benn puts Nicklas Hjalmarsson through the glass, October 7, 2011

Brenden Morrow puts Brent Seabrook into the boards, October 8, 2011

Jake Dowell takes down Lauri Korpikoski, October 10, 2011

Mike Ribeiro with an open ice hit on Derick Brassard, October 18, 2011

Mark Fistric eliminates Jeff Skinner, November 6, 2011

Stephane Robidas takes out Nicklas Backstrom (and a ref), November 8, 2011

Stephane Robidas goes flying towards Logan Couture, November 19, 2011

Mark Fistric smokes Anton Lander, November 21, 2011

Nicklas Grossmann beats out Milan Michalek, December 1, 2011

Steve Ott takes Zach Parise off his skates, December 16, 2011

Michael Ryder knocks down Jakub Voracek, December 21, 2011

Steve Ott pounds Brad Marchand, December 31, 2011