At this point, opposing players should monitor Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall as if he’s wearing an ankle bracelet. Time and time again, players put their heads down, lose their bearings or just put themselves in a vulnerable position and Kronwall is more than happy to teach them a harsh lesson for such a mistake.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek learned the hard way tonight as Kronwall absolutely demolished him a jaw-dropper of a hit, which inspired this great medley of mayhem (which includes the latest check, of course).
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We might have to call Kronwall the Swedish Scott Stevens at this rate.
There was an ugly scene in St. Louis tonight as Blues forward Chris Stewart shoved Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall into the boards in the middle of the first period. It was one of those hits that Stewart could have called from the locker room and just said something like, “Hi Brendan, take a look at your schedule and let me know when we should schedule my hearing.”
The bodycheck was one of those hits that seemingly covered everything that the league is trying to get out of the league. It was a shove from directly behind when Kronwall was in a vulnerable place on the ice. The defenseman lost his balance after the shove, went head-first into the boards, and lay motionless on the ice as his teammates went after Stewart for the hit. After the Wings’ medical staff attended to Kronwall on the ice, they had to help him off the playing surface and into the locker room.
Meanwhile, Stewart was given a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. If we were betting men here at PHT (no comment), we’d say the in-game penalties are the least of Stewart’s worries.
Take a look at the shot and let us know what you think? There’s no question that it’s a dirty hit in a dangerous place on the ice—is it suspension worthy? If you were wielding the Shanahammer, how many games would you give Stewart?
A season ago he slipped under the radar a bit, but Niklas Kronwall is returning to his previous game-changing form. That means scoring crucial points, yet it also often means delivering brutal hits. The Swedish defenseman “Kronwall’d” Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe already in this series and it looks like Clowe is showing some ill effects.
CSN’s Brodie Brazil reports that Clowe won’t play in Game 6 and didn’t make the trip to Detroit. It’s unclear what type of injury Clowe is dealing with or how much time he will miss, but the odds are high that that hit might be the culprit for his missed time. Clowe wasn’t shy about discussing his distaste for Kronwall going into Game 5, but it seems like Kronwall got the last laugh.
No doubt about it, losing Clowe would be a big blow. He registered a career-high 24 goals and 62 points this season but has been even better in the playoffs, scoring 13 points in 11 games.
Speaking of big blows, here’s video footage of that destructive check by Kronwall.