Radko Judas is tough to overlook.
From the fuzzy black beard to the bone-chilling hits and the hovering five-pointer he tops off the bench after wins, the Florida Panthers’ boisterous Czech fullbacks make their presence recognized.
“It is all private,” mentioned Panthers coach Morris. “Everybody has their very own persona within the room, however Radko has this distinctive persona.”
There may be one other space during which it’s acknowledged these days as nicely: within the e-book of leopard data.
With 167 hits to date this season, Gudas has recorded 772 hits throughout his two seasons with the Panthers. This now stands because the franchise file because the NHL started monitoring scores within the 2007-2008 season, breaking the earlier franchise mark of 761 held by Vincent Trocheck. Gudas reached that mark in simply 173 video games with the Panthers, averaging practically 4 and a half hits per sport. Trocheck wanted 420 video games with Florida to succeed in his sport whole.
“It is nice,” Judas mentioned of the file. “I acquired two congratulatory letters. … I by no means thought in my profession that I might be a franchise chief in something. It is so particular.”
And his excessive strikeout whole is not simply an achievement for the Panthers. He is at all times close to the highest throughout the complete NHL.
His 772 hits (and counting) since becoming a member of the Panthers previous to the 2020-21 season are by far probably the most within the NHL in that span. second most? 655 by Ottawa Senators’ Brady Tkachuk – 117 hits lower than Judas.
“It is a bodily sport there,” Judas mentioned. “If I can excite guys with huge hits and make opponents uncomfortable in our space after I’m on the ice, that is one thing I stay up for doing each sport. Hopefully guys can beat that.”
For his profession, Gudas has 2,420 hits in 652 video games over 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Panthers.
“When he wires into the sport, it brings everybody into the sport,” Morris mentioned. “There will not be plenty of bumps in his sport. There may be not plenty of mild contact.”
However Judas’ contributions go far past the large hits. It begins earlier than the workforce will get to the ice. He is without doubt one of the most vocal gamers within the dressing room, at all times discovering a method to have a dialog and discovering a method to energize the squad.
“He chirps at males,” Morris mentioned. “It is a huge a part of what is going on on there. It simply brings an actual optimistic feeling to our workforce.”
He has been one among Florida’s most constant defenders in all points of the sport this season.
Gudas has been paired nearly solely with Josh Mahura this season and the duo has been quietly one of many league’s greatest pairings. In keeping with the superior hockey stats web site, Pure Stat Trick, the Panthers have a 56.5 % course proportion when Gudas and Mahura are on the ice collectively at full energy, which implies the Panthers generate 56.5 % of their shot makes an attempt when Gudas and Mahura are on the ice. That is it Sixth highest within the NHL Among the many defensive pairs who’ve performed at the very least 400 minutes collectively this season.
“You realize what you get from it each evening,” Mahora mentioned. “For me to have the ability to determine that out and play my sport — and he desires me to play my sport — it helps me quite a bit. He could make plenty of performs and he is been doing it on the market. It has been actually good to date.”
He is taking part in a a lot cleaner sport now, too. After having a poor monitor file as a sloppy participant earlier in his profession—he had 4 shutouts in his three years with Philadelphia—Goudas has softened his sport whereas nonetheless placing up his signature huge on the proper time.
Morris has on a number of events this season praised Judas for being one of many extra defensive gamers from his defensive group.
It is a praise Judas does not take severely.
“I like the boldness of the coaches and the way in which they play with me,” mentioned Judas. “I really feel so assured. I attempt to verify everybody round me is aware of I am there.”