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Niklas Kronwall’s latest victim: Jakub Voracek

Mar 6, 2012, 9:30 PM EDT

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.

  1. taytay099 - Mar 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Look at his arms after he’s hit. Classic signs of a concussion. That was one huge hit.

  2. dbick - Mar 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Hit him directly in the head. How is this not a penalty? Should be suspended.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      You people need to realize that not every big hit is a suspendable hit. The onus here is on Voracek to know where he is on the ice and keep his head up. If he has his head down its his fault that he takes a shot to it, if he had his head up Kronwall would have hit him in the chest.

      We can’t start suspending players for this kind of hit. If we do, guys will be going all over the place with their heads down, into vulnerable areas of the ice without any awareness of their surroundings because they know the other players can’t pop them. You’ll probably see more injuries when guys start playing with less awareness because they assume they won’t get hit.

      I miss really the days when guys could throw big hits without everyone screaming suspension. The first thing I thought of when I saw this was Campbell on Umberger. Same kind of hit at almost the exact same spot on the ice.

      • flyersrock - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:01 AM

        what ever dude if that was a flyer who thru the hit you would be saying that he should get suspended

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        No, just because you think everybody is biased against your team doesn’t mean they are. Don’t get me wrong, I HATE the Flyers. But my love of good hard-hitting hockey trumps my hatred for your team. I’m fine with any player on any team throwing this hit.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 6, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Can this really be called a ‘head shot?’ Kronwall’s form was textbook. Jake had his head down. The NHL needs to do something to force players with possession to have their heads up. Everytime there is a ‘head shot’, we want to blame the hitter. What about the offensive player? This same situation that the NFL deals with: runner leads with his head it’s near impossible for the tackler NOT to make contact with the dome. Both leagues need to penalize offensive players for making it harder for defenders to make physical, yet clean, plays. Everyone knows that I am a Flyers fan thru and thru, but I can’t rip Kronwall. Player safety is a must but we need to call out the victim as much as the enforcer.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      I disagree about Voracek having his head down negates any responsibility of Kronwall’s to avoid a head shot. Voracek isn’t leaning over and doesn’t really change his body position prior to the hit. Kronwall should be able to aim his hit for a height that won’t result in him putting his shoulder into Voracek’s face as a result.

      Otherwise the technique of the hit itself is fine, it’s just too high and should be looked at under the headshot rule. The contact to the head isn’t incidental and the primary contact isn’t just to the body, and with most of the more recent Kronwall hits he actually turns his back and avoids using his shoulder altogether. In this case, he absolutely uses the shoulder, where he might have been fine otherwise.

      All you need to do is look at the 45 second mark of this one to see the contact with the head from Kronwall’s shoulder and know he’s in trouble.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM

        You can still make a legal hit in hockey without using your shoulder ( e.g. hip check). You are also allowed to use your back to hit your opponent hence the reason why Kronwall doesn’t get penalized for his trademark hit. And tell me exactly how Kronwall is suppose to avoid making this so-called head shot? I think we are forgetting that many of these puckhandlers put themselves in a bad position.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        And by the way, has a still frame of Kronwall ready to hit Jake. And guess what? Jake is hunched over and he is looking down. I ask once again: how is Kronwall suppose hit him without making contact with his head? When a puck handler is leaning forward, his head will be the first body part contacted. If he has his head up, his chest. I’ll keep on saying, puckhandlers need to be called out. One could even penalize players for skating with their heads down. Sounds crazy right? Something needs to be down though. We can’t always point the finger at the hitter.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:03 PM

        I don’t know about hunched over, although I’d agree that his head being down lowers it somewhat. The counter to that is Kronwall doesn’t just catch his chin, his shoulder (not his back, even if he is turning) is hitting Voracek’s visor and helmet, so it’s up high.

        The NHL has already ruled that it didn’t warrant supplemental discipline, so there’s no point in arguing it though.

    • AppealToReason - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      The thing is that players 10 years ago would always assume the Dman would turn them into a rink ad when they had the puck there so they wouldn’t leave themselves open. Now with less Dman trying to annihilate you along the wall guys usually assume the Dman is just going to back off.

    • flyersrock - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM

      again if that was a flyer that thru the hit you all would be crying suspention if you don’t call this a headshot your blind whatch the fkn replay head gets hit first blatent head shot targeted

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Hahaha I do agree with that. For some reason, the Flyers (as long with the rest of the city) gets the short end of the stick. According to the rules, you can’t call this a head shot because there is no way of telling that Kronwall was targeting the head. Jake’s head was down and he was leaning forward right before impact. The NHL needs to hold puckhandlers accountable. I will keep on saying it.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 8, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        No real hockey fan should cry suspension over a hit like this no matter who throws it.

  4. ravenscaps48 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Kronwall is a BOSS!!! This guy lays people out CLEANLY and with such force that they’re the best in hockey

  5. jclements4048 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Here is the issue… NHL has to make it clear players need to make an attempt to play the puck if flying in like that. If you youtube Kronwall hits, he does the same thing every time… flys in with his back to the player… nails him up high. You ARENT attempting to play the puck if you are purposely turning your body away from the play.

    If the NHL is trying to eliminate head hits, then that shouldve been a penalty…

    but the definitions and lines that determine legal vs non-legal is too cloudy to start labelling him a dirty player. Definitely knows how to lay a lick.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      There’s no reason for a player to have to attempt to play the puck, unless the other player hasn’t played it at all and isn’t near it. If the other player has just played it, or will have to avoid playing it to keep from getting hit, it’s absolutely a hockey play to hit him as long as it’s a proper hit (no headshot, not late, not charging, etc).

    • pirkmynirk - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      seriously? ive been taught since i was in 4th grade to play the body…. girls hockey plays the puck, mens hockey plays the body. thats a textbook hit.

      • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        Exactly! Play the body!

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      Are you kidding me? Have you ever played hockey? If you MAKE players play the puck there will be next to no hitting in hockey. As the rules are now, almost every hit that Kronwall has made is a clean hit. The onus needs to be placed on the offensive player as well. Don’t put yourself in a dangereous position.

  6. epictron1 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    “Clean hit” or not, these are the hits the NHL is trying to get rid of. The NHL needs to get tougher on these hits.

  7. danphipps01 - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Clean how? Go to 0:43-45 and tell me his shoulder wasn’t driven straight into Voracek’s jaw. Voracek’s head was facing forward and he wasn’t crouching or bending over at all. What more debate is there to have?

    • hockinj25 - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      His head was straight down and he was leaning forward slightly.

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      Where was his head? Voracek had his own head in the middle of his chest.

  8. AppealToReason - Mar 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    The more of these I see the more it bothers me how the offensive player does nothing but leave himself open to get destroyed. Same goes for hits from behind. No one braces or tries to protect themselves anymore. 6-10 years ago guys never left themselves vulnerable as often as they are now. These guys are relying on the rulebook to cover their ass. Drives me crazy.

    It all stems from the minor levels where its against the rules to do it so guys never learn how to play without their safety blanket. Then that comes off and they are no longer the biggest or most talented. They’ve become just another player yet they still have these habits from junior and minor pro.

  9. greggoldberg - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Reckless, probably; dirty, no. Doubt anything will come of it.

  10. hockinj25 - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    One thing all of these Kronwall hits have in common is the forward not keeping his head up. It’s the first thing they teach you in mini mites but the professionals seem to forget about it.

  11. skezskoz - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I dont have a problem with the hit, Voracek needs to keep his head up. And I’m a Flyers fan. What bothered me was Kronwall refusing to answer the bell afterwards

    • bensawesomeness - Mar 6, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      I’m a wings fan, and although i like the idea of the hit there, obviously i don’t like the outcome – poor guy, his arms afterwards make me cringe every time

      that being said

      Wings are much less of a fighting team. It was in the rules, he shouldn’t have to answer for something that was in the rules

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      No one from Philly really challenged him. If they would have been behind in the score you can bet that someone from Philly would have gone after him.

      • skezskoz - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        It looked to me like Schenn tried to get him to go. I could be wrong. Agree that if they were behind there would have been a bigger response. The subsequent penalty on Rinaldo was a pathetic call

      • flyersrock - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM

        what are you talkingabout they challenged him and they got a peanlty fkn nhl reefes suck

  12. greenkeeper15 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    on a night a howe was honored, wow get rid of the intsigator rule and then kronwall can’t hide. let the players enforce themselves. if kronwall knows there will be retribution this guy will stop. i was at the game and after the hit he ran from everyone including the girls sweeping the ice

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      Why should he have to fight after throwing a good solid check?

    • Scott - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:27 AM

      Watch the video again. After the hit, Kronwall is running around *playing hockey*. He even gets off a shot on goal while Schenn is chasing him around the ice in a silly bid to avenge a legal hit.

      Love it or hate it, this the Red Wings’ style. They compete, they hustle, and in some cases they lay you out with a big hit. What they don’t do: waste time in after-the-whistle pissing contests. Kronwall has no obligation to indulge an opponent’s blood lust for revenge. He made a hockey play and kept on playing. No crime in that.

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Kronwall never attempted to hide from anyone. The score being what it was, no one from the Flyers really tried to engage him. Kronwall is not a fighter but he sure didn’t run from anyone last night.

  13. firstandonlywarning - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    A guy got laid out in a hockey game and nobody is calling Kronwall

    Accept it

  14. ll8078 - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    A. you can brag all you want about the hit but you still lost the game.

    and Kronwall embarrassed the entire Howe family by not fighting either time. Very Crosby-esque, and left a “soft, scared, puss” mindset in the minds of all Flyers fans about Detroit. Pretty disrespectful to the team.

    People want “traditional hockey” with hits like this … well in traditional hockey after every big hit like that you see a fight. Not running away scared.

    • taytay099 - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:16 AM

      Why should he have to fight? Would you want Pronger sitting in the box for 5 minutes because he fought after every big hit he throws? Nobody embarrassed the Howe family or disrespected your team. You’re being a tad too dramatic.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:18 AM

        How much “traditional hockey” have you watched? You fight after cheap shots, not after every big hit. One thing that drives me crazy is guys going after each other when one of them throws a big hit. It’s so unnecessary.

      • ll8078 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        legal hit or not, when he runs into a player like that he has no desire to play the puck, he’s trying to make him leave on a stretcher. malice intentions that weren’t backed up, put the rest of his team at risk by not fighting (a lot of big hits happened right after that)

      • chibimike - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Dude, you talk about “traditional hockey”, but you don’t seem to have any idea of how to play. You don’t play the puck as a defenseman unless you want to get deeked and watch as the forward skates in alone on your goalie. You take the body and end the offensive play.

        As to your comments regarding the mind of Philly fans. Does it really matter what that group thinks? Remember, it was the mind of Philly fans controlling the bodies of Philly fans, that beat the hell out of an outnumbered Rangers fan for going to the Winter Classic.

    • fairleyobvious - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      Are you really going to brag about a 3-2 win with the injuries the wings played with?

      and more….

      A win is a win and nobody expects you to give it back, but there were guys on the team last night that even an above average hockey fan has never heard of.

      • greenkeeper15 - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        yeah and the flyers are completley healthy

      • ll8078 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        haha complaining about injuries on a post where Kronwall intended to hurt someone. Pretty sure that Pronger guys good, Timmonen is an all star, Mezaros, JVR, half of Jagr, and half of Voracek missed the game. I guess guys like Zach Rinaldo and Eric Wellwood classify as “guys that even an above average hockey fan has never heard of”

      • fairleyobvious - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        I didn’t say the Flyers are healthy all I said is you didn’t beat the wings for bragging rights. I am not trying to compare names here nobody is healthy this time of year, but are you really trying to compare your injuries to the best D-Man in NHL history, a top 3 player in the NHL (best 2-way player in the NHL) and an All-Star Goalie who is one of the best in the league to your injuries? Please.

        Also, If you seriously think Kronwall was intentionally trying to hurt someone with a textbook hit than your kind of and an idiot.

      • phillyboy20 - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        I will give you the all star goalie but Pronger will go down as one of the best all time at his position as well and AT THIS POINT in their careers if healthy has more of an impact on his team than lidstrom. Then take and additional 2 of our top 4 Dmen out, the 8th leading scorer in NHL history (since your using history in your argument), and the fact that the flyers played with only 9 forwards for most of the game I don’t think you bring injuries up as a disadvantage one way or the other.

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      In traditional hockey NO ONE ever had to fight because of a clean hit. It was always because of a cheap shot.

  15. michiganhockey11 - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Plain and simple. Kronwall lined up a textbook hit. Every angle of replay showed that Voracek took 5-6 strides looking down at the puck trying to bring it in front of him. You want to take head shots out of the game, that’s fine with me. However, Kronwall did make quite a bit of non-head contact on the hit.

    You even heard it the other week with the Nystrom hit on Letang. Pittsburgh’s coach even said “Letang’s got to do a better job protecting himself” in reference to him sticking his head/neck out. Voracek has to keep his head up, especially at this level.

    And shame on you fake-hockey fans that claim that a guy that throws a huge clean hit has to answer the bell. You don’t go after a guy for a clean hit! Dirty hits, yes. You guys know nothing of the game.

  16. kingjoe1 - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Why this wasn’t a penalty is beyond me. The ref was staring right at it. Kronwall hit directly in the head; the first contact was with the head and nothing was called.
    However the refs made up for when they called a 2 minute minor on Rinaldo for lightly pushing Kronwall.

    Shanny better come down hard on him 5 games at least.

    • michiganhockey11 - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      5 games, are you kidding? Wings Brendan Smith got suspended in the preseason for a head shot, because he had time to change body position to make principal contact with the opponents body. In this case, Kronwall moves to step up on the blue line, and Voracek has his head down and in front of his body. Where’s Kronwall supposed to hit him at that point? Try and drop really low at the last second and get called for checking him below the knees? Kronwall committed to the hit, and Voracek was skating with his head down in front of him. What recourse does that leave Kronwall or any other defenseman in that position?

      Larry Murphy said it best when he said Voracek had his head in front of his body. Kronwall had no where else to hit the guy. Kronwall had no where else to hit him and didn’t leave his feet or raise his elbow . Gary Green said about the same thing on NHL tonight as well.

  17. michiganhockey11 - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I’ll say this for sure, the refs completely blew it by not blowing the play dead after the hit so Philly’s trainer could get out to him. That was complete BS move by the officiating crew.

    • drub1959 - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      They must have possesion of the puck for the ref to whistle the play dead.

      • dmacirish - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        False. They can stop the game whenever they want if they feel a player is seriously injured. Hockey’s seriously injured is a bit more injured then other sport’s seriously injured. Flyer’s fan here – hit was legal, wish I had Kronwall on our team. However, there was obvious contact to the head and is considered to be the primary point of contact. It was mainly due to Jake’s position but we see this with boarding calls and the general excuse for a call is “The league is cracking down on these.” Most players, including myself, would hope that the league and referees be consistent in all cases – whether they are making good calls or bad calls – call it or don’t call it everytime no matter who hits who.

      • drub1959 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        You are correct but as soon as Voracek tried to get up, the referees must have decided that it wasn’t serious enough to blow the whistle until Philly gained possesion.

  18. paledevil - Mar 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    One thing we can all agree upon. The game is tougher than football….

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