The Vancouver Canucks put forth an impressive display in beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Wednesday, but that’s not what most were talking about afterward.
Early in the third period, Red Wings blueliner Niklas Kronwall — who’s fierce hits have made “Kronwalled” a semi-legitimate verb — caught Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler with this lethal check:
The hit was hard, but trying to properly classify it is even harder. Seriously, what do you call that? A flying posterior check? A 180 bodycheck? I’m pretty sure Kronwall led with his back, which is kind of crazy.
As for the aftermath…Kesler got two minutes for roughing (more on that in a sec) and the hit appeared to give the Canucks a spark. Alex Edler scored shorthanded on Kesler’s ensuing penalty and Vancouver was far more engaged physically for the remainder of the period.
Following the game, Kesler shared his thoughts on the incident.
“I like the hit, but I don’t like the fact he doesn’t stand up for himself,” Kesler said. “I think you gotta answer the bell on that one.
“I gotta get my head up. Obviously you see him backing up and you know that’s his move there. I think you have to put the blame on the ‘hittee’ a little bit, but I also think he’s gotta stand up for himself.”
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.