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.”