Many fans worry that the NHL is slowly but steadily legislating physicality out of the game, and this year delivered plenty of fuel for debate about player safety in the form of big, thundering checks that sent players end-over-end, tumbling into benches, and, on rare occasions, through the glass. Most of the hits were well within the rules, while others were cause for supplemental discipline as the NHL continued to place added emphasis on preventing head injuries. After sorting through nine-plus months of game highlights, we present the 13 most bone-rattling hits of 2013:
Posts Tagged ‘Niklas Kronwall’
It’s been a long time since a Brendan Shanahan-issued suspension felt like an attention getter. Safe to say that the five-game ban he handed to Cody McLeod tonight effectively ended that streak.
The Colorado forward was sentenced to civvies today for a vicious hit from behind that left Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall with a slight concussion.
There were a lot of moving parts to this case that made it worth watching, including its timing in relation to two other high-profile incidents: a story Saturday about a crackdown on violence in the KHL and Kronwall’s surprising decision to publicly assume some of the blame for the collision.
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to to a slow Sunday morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Did the salvation of the Phoenix Coyotes crush the chances for a second team in the Toronto area? A former supporter of the project to build an NHL-ready arena in Markham, Ontario believes the league is focused on Seattle and Quebec City for expansion, and without a viable relocation option like the Coyotes on the market, he is ready to kill the financial framework that would make the building possible. Disappointing, but probably a prudent move … for now. The league has no timetable for expansion, and while there has been no official talk of favorites, he’s probably right about the league’s preferred locales. A new building was always going to involve some risk, but with the odds stacked against it, spending that money now seems almost foolish.
• Not sure if it’s fair to call an actual professor a “stats geek,” but one of ‘em ran the numbers and identified the summer’s worst free-agent signing. I’m guessing Pittsburgh fans won’t appreciate this. And, to be fair, the numbers don’t tell the whole story of what this vet brings to the table.
By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• This is amazing: with a win tonight over the visiting Blackhawks, the Ducks could pull within three points of the Western Conference leaders…and they still have a game in hand. Hard not to look at this as a playoff preview.
• The Penguins fought their way through the slop to run their winning streak to 10 games by beating the Caps, 2-1. Stretching it to 11 will be a whole lot easier if Evgeni Malkin returns the to lineup Friday as expected.
• Max Talbot has been Philly’s best forward in each of the last four games. If that keeps up, there’s no way this team makes the playoffs.
• Niklas Kronwall resisted the urge to replace Nick Lidstrom, and by staying within himself he’s made a greater contribution to Detroit’s revamped blueline.
• Capgeek has the cap-hit leaders for 2013-14. Two new entries crack the top five…can you guess who?
• Another day, another sexual assault arrest in hockey. I can already hear this one being sloughed off as a little drunken silliness. It shouldn’t be.
• It sounds like Rick DiPietro is finding success – and maybe a little peace – in the AHL.
• The Blues expect to get T.J. Oshie back in the lineup this week…and that could mean the end of their awkward three-goalie rotation. Jake Allen’s going nowhere, Which suggests that bad news is coming for Brian Elliott.
• Nice .gif work by the boys over at The Score capturing Sergei Bobrovsky’s eye-opening meeting with the smelling salts after taking a Kevin Klein slap shot to the mask.