The Anaheim Ducks were mighty worked up after losing to Detroit 5-4 last night and it wasn’t just over the outcome of the game. Early on in the tilt, Ducks legendary forward Teemu Selanne took a wicked hit from Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. The hit appeared to catch Selanne while in a crouched position, meanwhile Kronwall sprung into the hit like a spring being unleashed. You can see video of the hit here on YouTube.
After the game, Selanne and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle made their feelings on the hit very clear. Mlive.com’s Ansar Khan shares the Ducks’ anger.
“That guy is dangerous out there. One of these days somebody’s going to get him, for sure,” Selanne said. “I know that. It’s just a matter of time when. For sure his elbow hit in my face. I didn’t see the replay, but I know how it felt.”
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle supported his player and then criticized the officiating. The Red Wings had three power plays in the first period, the Ducks had one. There were no penalties the rest of the night.
“Kronwall clearly jumped and shouldered him in the jaw, went for his head,” Carlyle said. “You could see the replay, but then the referee said, ‘I didn’t see any illegal act.’ I said, ‘You better look at the replay.’
“(Then) two players collide in the middle of the ice, (Johan) Franzen and Corey Perry, we get a penalty for it. I’m just sick of it in this building.”
The Ducks had a lot of complaining to do after the game, and Carlyle continued to dress down the officiating that he sees in Joe Louis Arena. It’s no secret that sometimes home teams get the benefit of the doubt in games and it’s also no secret that officials can be inconsistent. That said, the Ducks don’t do themselves any favors as they’re the most penalized team in the league by a wide margin. Through nine games, the Ducks have 202 penalty minutes as a team, an average of 22.4 PIMs per game.
As for Kronwall’s hit on Selanne, it looks very ugly and it’s one that could fall under the jurisdiction of the NHL’s new rule regarding head shots. A play doesn’t have to result in injury nor does it need to be penalized to be punished by the league and considering Kronwall’s elbow caught Selanne right on the chin, it’s possible Kronwall could get fined for it. Kronwall’s history of questionable hits likely won’t earn him much sympathy. As for what he thought of the hit, well, he’s not exactly an expert.
“I haven’t seen the replay yet, but to me, the way I (saw it), I felt I hit him with the shoulder,” Kronwall said.
Whether or not Selanne and Carlyle’s comments will be enough to get the attention of the NHL regarding Kronwall remains to be seen, but be sure that Carlyle’s complaints about the officiating will surely lighten his wallet.