Q&A: Robitaille’s hardest hits

Question: A two-part question. Who hit you the hardest when you played, and who was the most intimidating player you played against?

ROBITAILLE: “I think the hardest hit I ever got was… One of them was my teammate, and I can’t remember who it was. It was some young kid we called up. It might have been Sylvain Couturier who ran into me. But the hardest hit in my career… One time Ray Bourque, in Boston, I had my head down in the corner and he came in from the front of the net and he hit me. I lost my wind and I remember being on the ice looking around. The hardest hit I ever got was in Minnesota and it was Mark Tinordi. We were on the power play and I cut across the middle. I turned around and he was right there. He hit me so hard that my stick flew all the way into the stands. He didn’t knock me out but he hit me real hard. Those are the ones I remember.”

Question: Anyone you ever felt intimidated by?

ROBITAILLE: “Intimidated…no. The toughest guys to play against were always the defensemen who just played it right, you know? Ray Bourque was hard to play against because he didn’t play dirty but you didn’t have any room against him. Probably the hardest competitor was Chris Chelios. Him and I had many go-arounds at it. If you wanted to battle against Chris, he made you pay a hard price for it. In those days, you didn’t get suspended for slashing. He should have got suspended every shift. (laughs) Him and Chris Pronger were really, really dirty. You know that if you beat them once, you were going to pay a price the next time. But that’s why they were so great.”

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