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Video: Kesler gets crushed by Kronwall

Dec 22, 2011, 1:14 AM EDT

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.”

  1. noulp - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Had the opportunity for a great hit, but unfortunately he left his feet before contact and now has the misfortune of having me call this a charge. I’m probably the only one though…

    • chibimike - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      So tired of people who do not know the definition of Charging scream charging, especially the commentators during games.

      “42.1 Charging – A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner.

      Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A charge may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.”

      Key line:
      “Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner.”

      Notice the discerning phrase: “as a result of distance traveled”, implies that one player is stationary and the other “charges” at him. It is not charging when both players are skating toward each other as no player is causing the distance traveled. It is why Kronwall never gets charging calls. Jumping into a hit is not charging unless the “as a result of distance traveled” criterion is met.

      • redwingrick - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:25 PM

        Exactly. Thanks for posting 42.1 for those who refuse to understand the interpretation of the rule.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        The rule doesn’t say, “who skates or jumps into, more commonly referred to as charging, an opponent in any manner.” It gives three criteria that fall under the charging rule, and then goes on to explain what the third criteria (which is charging) actually is. Just because they named the rule 42.1 Charging doesn’t mean it’s only inclusive of what’s in the second paragraph.

        If if they only defined charging as what is in the second part, why would they even both referencing “skates or jumps into” in the first part? You could be deemed having charged a player by only having traveled a short distance but accelerated the whole way into the player and then jumped at him. It doesn’t mean you have to cross from one side of the ice to the other for it to be a penalty.

        Distance traveled can be mitigated by both players skating towards each other, but doesn’t completely rule it out, but neither is it only if one player is stationary. A player could be skating perpendicular to another or away and if the hitter has to make considerable effort to get to him and make the hit, then charging is possible.

  2. warpstonebc - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    I was pretty stunned that Kronwall hid behind the refs.

    If the roles were reversed, we could all write the PHT headline about the Canucks don’t answer for their hits or stand up for their teammates.

    Maybe Detroit was just tired, but aside from Bertuzzi amusingly sandbagging Salo for their first goal and Holmstrom cross-checking Canucks so hard away from Luongo that I almost thought he was in blue, the Wings were not really physical in response all game.

    It was a fantastic game though. Great skating from both sides and excellent hockey through two periods before the chippyness started (it was still good even then). I would love to see a playoff series between both teams!

    • danphipps01 - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM

      Amen. Lord knows that would make for a better conference finals than one involving San Jose flailing and imploding in front of whoever they’re up against. Two GOOD teams would be nice after two years of whichever team isn’t the Sharks eviscerating whichever team is.

  3. loinstache - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Excellent performances from both teams, sloppy performances from both refs.

  4. danphipps01 - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:59 AM

    Wow, that’s a damn shame. I love Kronwall. He’s a fantastic player. So I hate to say that he left his feet and needs to miss a game or two, but… well, yeah. That. That hit had all the makings of being a patented badass Kronwalling, but he was clearly off the ice before the impact with Kesler. That’s… really not like him. Even so, rules are rules. You can’t jump into a guy, even if you’re leading with your back.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:13 AM

      Actually, revise that – cut the missed games. I had to watch this one a few times to come to an opinion I’m confident in, but now that I have… no, no missed games. That’s not severe enough. It’s an on-ice call that wasn’t made. He should’ve been called on charging or roughing and Kesler should’ve been called for his response – leaving the teams to play four on four. That he was able to leave his feet without a call is just shoddy refereeing, but my initial feeling that he should have lost a game or two to this hit was exaggerated. It’s not suspension-worthy.

  5. govtminion - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    One of the stranger hits I’ve ever seen, for sure. To echo earlier sentiments, also very disappointing to see him not do the right thing afterwards. Don’t let the ref fight your battles for you.

  6. sippindasyzurp - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    This is what is driving me crazy about hockey… A guy makes a decent hit and always has to stand up and fight someone… It looks so bush league, isin’t hitting part of the game?? When a guy gets blown up in football his teammates don’t try and jump the player that hit him unless of course if its a cheap shot…

    Kesler himself referred himself that this was a good hit, but then trashed Kronwall for not standing up for himself?? Why should he have to??

    Kronwall did leave his feet a bit and the hit is obviously is up for debate, I am just saying there are a number of hard clean hits where after the hit somebody always has to start a fight, and the player hitter has to “stand up” for himself.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      Yeah, I’d bet that Kesler would have wanted a fight even if Kronwall didn’t leave his feet.But I’ve been seeing chippy-ness over clean hits more and more.

      Still he’s going to sit a game for that one for leaving his feet.

  7. rwmilli - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    DIE hard Canucks fan here, I agree with said ^^ post above, hits like this are the reason they want fighting OUT because it’s exactly that, nobody fights when it’s needed, that’s a rare thing, fights come after anytime a hits thrown, an or since the attuuuuppidd miller/lucic incident anytime you touch the goalie…IMO it’s even funnier that Kron backed down, he won twice…other than the shortty, he destroyed kesler, and than drew a penalty for his team…that’s win/win no?

  8. mydadyourmom - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Was at this game, beauty hit. No reason for Kronwall to fight there. No chance Kesler would have tried his tough guy act on the road.
    Such a homo.

  9. millertime30 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    dirty hit… dont see how you can leave your feet and say you’re not targeting the head.

    and this is hockey.. if you throw a dirty hit, you take the punishment… YOU DON’T HIDE BEHIND THE REFS LIKE A LITTLE GIRL!

    Go Sabres

    • chibimike - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Not a dirty hit, didn’t target his head, didn’t hit his head.
      No dirty hit, no reason to defend himself.

    • dman33 - Dec 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Are u saying he tried to target the head with his butt and back? I think he should not have left his feet, but it does not fall neatly into a category of penalties in the rule book.

  10. haterzgonahate - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    i’m kinda on the fence here.. to me its a direct attempt to injure because of the reckless nature in which Kronwall sacrifices himself just to make the hit. the only thing worse would have been a jump and tuck “cannonball” right to the mid section.

    at the same time Kesler has his head down and shoulda seen it coming earlier.. could you imagine what would have happened if he ducked the hit? Kronwall would have gone ass over tea kettle and probably hit the ice with the back of his head first. it was reckless and the consequences could have been far worse for both players involved… luckily no one was hurt.

    and i like the emotion Kesler showed going after him but he probably would of got dummied by Kronwall. your not a fighter Kes!! stick to scoring goals!

    on another note fantastic game! most entertaining game this year so far!

  11. Jeff - Dec 24, 2011 at 6:43 AM

    It was a reckless hit; Kronwall left his feet. He deserved a penalty for sure but not a suspension.
    The Canucks got what they wanted though a few minutes later as the refs made a makeup non-call on the goal that should have been called back.

  12. dman33 - Dec 25, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    The hit was effective. Lead with your back or butt, take the guy out without targeting his head or hurting your shoulder. Kesler is a chippy player. Kronwall will never fight and should not have to after an odd but fairly clean hit.

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