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He was just in the Quiet Room, sitting in the Comfy Chair: Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall not concussed

As Paul noted this morning, a certain Red Wings defenseman who tends to knock his opponents into next week was picked Minnesota Wild captain Niklas Kronwall prior to getting near the puck via a shoulder to the head, directly resulting in the Wild’s game-winning goal, but MLive’s Ansar Khan thankfully reports that the only reason Kronwall was unavailable to the media after the game had more to do with the NHL’s concussion protocol than anything else:

Quick update from the start of today’s Detroit Red Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall is skating and general manager Ken Holland said he is fine and will play Thursday against Calgary (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net Detroit).

Kronwall was shaken up in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota, when he took a shoulder or elbow to the head from Mikko Koivu seconds before Devin Setoguchi’s overtime goal.

I’m not sure that I’d call Koivu’s hit on Kronwall an intentional head shot—maybe it was a gratuitous hit that didn’t need to be so high—but I do think it was a penalty as Koivu prevented Kronwall from getting to the puck by bumping #55 prior to the puck entering the players’ respective vicinities. The fact that Devin Setoguchi got tied up with Jimmy Howard by running him prior to scoring the game-winning goal didn’t help, either…

Update: One more thing, via a press release: Gustav Nyquist’s first go-round with the Wings was a short stint:

RED WINGS REASSIGN GUSTAV NYQUIST TO AHL

… Rookie Center Made NHL Debut Last Night Versus Minnesota …

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings today announced that 22-year-old forward Gustav Nyquist has been reassigned the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). After being recalled from Grand Rapids on Monday, Nyquist made his NHL debut at Joe Louis Arena last night, logging 11:07 worth of ice time during a 2-1 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Currently 5-4-1 on the season, Detroit is back in action tomorrow night when the Calgary Flames pay a visit to the Motor City for a 7:30 p.m. showdown at The Joe. The first 7,500 fans in attendance for this ‘Bobblehead Thursday’ contest will receive a free Henrik Zetterberg bobblehead compliments of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), home of the Red Wings’ team doctors. Five (5) of the bobbleheads given away at this game will be brandished with a distinct marking on the inside of the box lid. Fans receiving these specially-marked bobbleheads will win a post-game meet-and-greet with Zetterberg outside of the Red Wings’ locker room.

Nyquist looked pretty good for a player engaging in his first NHL action, and in addition to having a very bright future at the NHL level down the line (though he does need to earn oodles of ice time while adjusting to a 70+-game season grind against bigger, stronger and older players in the AHL first), he’s certainly serving notice to players like Tomas Tatar that there’s a new forward at the top of the Wings’ AHL depth chart, and the rest of ‘em, rookies included, have to step up big time if they expect to join the big club before Nyquist becomes a full-time NHL’er sooner than later.

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Comments

Krononymous's avatar

I’m not sure that I’d call Koivu’s hit on Kronwall an intentional head shot—maybe it was a gratuitous hit that didn’t need to be so high—but I do think it was a penalty as Koivu prevented Kronwall from getting to the puck by bumping #55 prior to the puck entering the players’ respective vicinities. The fact that Devin Setoguchi got tied up with Jimmy Howard by running him prior to scoring the game-winning goal didn’t help, either…

And therein lies the crux of the issue.  In a game marred with inconsistent calls, two referees miss the opportunity to make three possible calls, disallow the goal, and even up the sides.  I fear that Wild fans and Wings haters out there would be just as miffed if the situation were reversed and Detroit scored the game winning goal in similar fashion.

Posted by Krononymous on 11/02/11 at 02:33 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Posted by Krononymous on 11/02/11 at 12:33 PM ET

this

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/02/11 at 02:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Not intentional, reckless.

Brendan Smith’s head shot wasn’t intentional either.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/02/11 at 02:43 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I agree about the standard of officiating—the Wings got called for goaltender interference a few times, including Johan Franzen getting checked by Harding (boy howdy, I guess when you’re from Strathroy, across the river from Marine City, you get pumped up to beat your “hometown” team), and both teams were called for much subtler picks…

And yeah, it was reckless. The whole Shanahan crackdown’s predicated on the concept that players shouldn’t “finish” their checks or finish off their opponents with needless hits to the head simply because they can. It’s just unnecessary when hitting, and even violent hits, are supposed to be about separating a player from the puck, not throwing a pick with a shoulder aimed high that the player doesn’t see coming.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/02/11 at 02:47 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

NHL -” We have the best officials in professional sports, they have a very difficult job in a high speed sport, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”

Posted by Rdwings28 on 11/02/11 at 02:51 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I fear that Wild fans and Wings haters out there would be just as miffed if the situation were reversed and Detroit scored the game winning goal in similar fashion.

Posted by Krononymous on 11/02/11 at 12:33 PM ET

However we know that would never happen. As much as I would love to see the Wings come out next game and just start throwing elbows every time they had the puck…as much as I would love to see them goon it up around the net after every single whistle…I know it can’t happen.

That’s just not Red Wings hockey.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/02/11 at 02:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Can I just put on my tinfoil hat (I totally need to make a brass or copper mesh one so that I have a Faraday cage) and suggest that, thus far this season, there *seems* to be a rule that players wearing red and white jerseys aren’t allowed to engage opposing goaltenders in any way, shape or form without heading to the penalty box afterward?

And the worst part is that goalies have picked up on the Pekka Rinne, “Skate out of the crease, check a Red Wings forward from behind and draw an interference penalty on the Wings as a result” play and are emulating it…

[/removes tinfoil hat]...Those things are frickin’ hot if you’re bald.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/02/11 at 03:09 PM ET

Avatar

Did Koivu intereference lead to OT winner by Setoguchi? Take a look:

http://www.hockeybias.com/hockey-news-past/2011/November/Devin-Setoguchi-Overtime-Goal-November-1-2011—video.html

Posted by TheHoldSteady from Minneapolis on 11/02/11 at 03:20 PM ET

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“prior to getting near the puck via a shoulder to the head, directly resulting in the Wild’s game-winning goal”

Not sure I’ve ever seen a fan base cry and whine as much as I’m seeing at this very moment. Kronwall leaves hit feet every time he hits someone and you say nothing.

He get’s “Kronwalled” with a perfectly legal hit much the same as Datsyuk has been delivering for some time and it’s wah! wah! wah!

Also not even close to being interference.

I for one am LOVING this.

Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 03:25 PM ET

rrasco's avatar

Posted by TheHoldSteady from Minneapolis on 11/02/11 at 01:20 PM ET

Yes.

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 11/02/11 at 03:32 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

With all due respect, that concept is as trite as can be. You’re more than welcome to your opinion, but the, “Oh, Red Wings fans are the whiniest in the NHL, nobody else would complain about this kind of stuff” line simply isn’t accurate.

Wild fans would be understandably upset if this happened to them, as would fans of any other team, and it’s completely normal to feel that one was slighted when these kinds of plays occur.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/02/11 at 03:32 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

Not intentional, reckless.
Brendan Smith’s head shot wasn’t intentional either

JJ, you hit the nail square on the head, and the position of the head didn’t significantly change leading up to or just prior to the hit.

Posted by wolverine on 11/02/11 at 03:38 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

As much as I’m inclined to agree about the horrible caliber of officiating we see in this league (see my “in game” posts on A2Y if you wanna see how much bile I spew about that topic), I think the bigger issue today is the ongoing defincies we’re seeing in this team as far as their ability, or I should say, their inability to put pucks in the net.

Well so much for giving Nyquist any sort of shot.  A day ago, I thought bringing him to the big club was a bold, assertive yet perfectly reasonable move that stood at least a chance of yielding some positive results.  My assumption was that this homestand would be an ideal time for such an expiriment and I more or less assumed they would give him at least that much time to show what he can contribute.  Nine minutes or so in a fractured, penalty-strewn game tells us precisely nothing about the kid.  Although he did draw a penalty when he was hauled down on that potential two-on-one—oh wait, nevermind, they didn’t call that one either.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/02/11 at 03:51 PM ET

Avatar

I for one am LOVING this.

No you aren’t.  If you were loving it you would be smiling and laughing rather than gnashing your teeth, repeating the same whiny mantra every time anything is said about last night.

You’re not loving it, you’re obsessed with it.

Posted by Garth on 11/02/11 at 03:58 PM ET

Avatar

One more thing, via a press release: Gustav Nyquist’s first go-round with the Wings was a short stint


What was even the fuching point?

Brunnstrom plays well enough to earn a contract and is given one game with the club before being sent down (and potentially being lost for nothing).  Now you bring up Nyquist and give him one game before sending him down?  Is Tatar next for the one game if-you-don-t-turn-this-ship-around-in-one-game-you’re-back-to-riding-the-bus call up?

Posted by Garth on 11/02/11 at 04:00 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Like WestWing, I’m really disappointed that Nyquist has been sent back down.  He hardly had a chance to play with all the time the Wings spent on the PK last night.  Geez, leave the kid up for this home stand at least!  I don’t get it.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/02/11 at 04:05 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

And damn, George, it’s good to see you posting again!

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/02/11 at 04:06 PM ET

Avatar

“prior to getting near the puck via a shoulder to the head, directly resulting in the Wild’s game-winning goal”

Not sure I’ve ever seen a fan base cry and whine as much as I’m seeing at this very moment. Kronwall leaves hit feet every time he hits someone and you say nothing.

He get’s “Kronwalled” with a perfectly legal hit much the same as Datsyuk has been delivering for some time and it’s wah! wah! wah!

Also not even close to being interference.

I for one am LOVING this.

Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 01:25 PM ET

Moles and Trolls, moles and trolls. Now hes using other peoples arguments and not giving credit.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 11/02/11 at 04:07 PM ET

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From The Hockey Wastelands - That’s it?

Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 04:17 PM ET

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Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 02:17 PM ET

Pretty smug for a person who has yet to make any point whatsoever…

Posted by Garth on 11/02/11 at 04:25 PM ET

NickLidstrom's avatar

As a Wings fan I can agree that the refs were pretty poor on both sides, but they always are. It’s just the way it is.

As far as Koivu catching Kronwall, I didn’t see anything wrong with that hit. Kronwall is moving in to engage Koivu and for some reason he didn’t think that Koivu knew he was coming. Boy, was he wrong. We see and laud Pavel Datsyuk for making plays like that all the time. Tough way to go down, but if Koivu doesn’t stand up to Kronwall (with his butt) he’s the one getting pinned into the boards. That’s hockey.

As painful as this losing streak has been to watch, it has been nice watching Jimmy Howard in net. He looks sharper than ever. Wings just need to start playing physical and really take it to their opponents with some urgency. If that happens, the goals will sort out themselves.

Posted by NickLidstrom from a Higher Ground on 11/02/11 at 04:40 PM ET

Avatar

Kronwalled himself just said it was a clean hit.

Now stop crying you babies.

Back to work.

Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 04:45 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

For what it is worth, here is Kerry Fraser’s take on the Koivu play:

This play is absolutely not worthy of a suspension nor violates any new standard relative to illegal checks to the head or dangerous hits. Under the presently accepted “rules of engagement” no penalty was deserved on the play either . . .

On this play, Koivu had the lead lane in pursuit of a loose puck. Kronwall was close on his heels and actually initiated contact when he brought his stick down onto the shaft of Koivu’s stick to control, contain and eliminate Koivu’s ability to play the puck with his stick. At this point we have a legal battle as both players are now engaged through physical contact.

If Kronwall continued his back pressure pursuit odds are he would attempt to muscle or even body check Koivu to the boards to contain or even eliminate him. The battle stage was set but what Kronwall wasn’t counting on is that Koivu would throw on the binders, lurch backwards and initiate contact of his own.  There was no elbow, no hit to the head but a back shoulder check designed to create space or eliminate a willing combatant. Since Kronwall had initiated pursuit and contact with his stick the engagement was completed when Koivu beat him to the punch with a strength maneuver that is presently deemed legal.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/02/11 at 04:50 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

He get’s “Kronwalled” with a perfectly legal hit much the same as Datsyuk has been delivering for some time and it’s wah! wah! wah!

Also not even close to being interference.

I for one am LOVING this.

Posted by Ouch from Windsor on 11/02/11 at 01:25 PM ET

Regardless if it’s ‘clean’ or not, saying it’s not interference shows just how a) little you know about hockey or b) anything that happens badly to the Wings excites you because you’re pathetic like that.  Both players were going for the puck, Koivu leveled him before they got to it, and that is exactly what interference is, there is no argument, no discussion.  That was as black and white as interference gets.  That’s not crying, it’s a fact.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 11/02/11 at 05:02 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/02/11 at 02:50 PM ET

That’s a joke on an explanation by Fraser, simply because that exact play is called interference EVERYTIME except here.  And saying because Kronwall’s stick touched Koivu’s that makes it ok is laughable, because EVERYTIME 2 players go for a puck there is some contact, and EVERYTIME one player knocks the other down it’s called interference.  So, either every other call in these cases was wrong, or *gasp* an official made a mistake, but we can’t admit that, now can we?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 11/02/11 at 05:06 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

That’s a crock of shite from Fraser. As WestWing said, if that really is the case, then the referees have gotten EVERY interference penalty wrong in the history of the game. So by Fraser’s logic, the next time Darren Helm has the puck in a one-on-one situation, he can just dump it off the boards, let the opposing player touch him with his stick, then level him and go off on a breakaway. Or on a deflected shot to the corner, Bertuzzi can check his opponent to the ice when they inevitably make contact going for the loose puck and get it back without a fight or penalt—wait a minute. That exact scenario I just described occured during the Vancouver/Detroit game on October 13th. And you know what happened? Bertuzzi was called for interference. But, according to Mr. Fraser, they were “in a battle for the puck.” So WHY is it interference on Bertuzzi, but not on Koivu?

It’s called bullshit, and you’re just trying to cover your zebra brother’s ass Fraser.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 11/02/11 at 05:21 PM ET

Chet's avatar

what Alzy said.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/02/11 at 05:31 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Nyquist looked pretty good for a player engaging in his first NHL action,

Well hell, Babcock will likely never play him or call him up again then… because we’ve all seen how ice time is doled out on this team, and it sure as hell isn’t through merit.

Posted by Primis on 11/02/11 at 09:40 PM ET

Avatar

User “NickLidstrom”, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar.  Same with “Ouch”.


NHL refs are horrible.  The worst games are when they’re like teenage girls and their innate desire for attention, so literally everything becomes a penalty.  Proof?  Take for example PMB’s penalty on Game 1, where a CBJ player high-sticked himself in the face, and PMB gets a double-minor & a suspension.  Saw it in a game in CGY as well.  CGY player lifted Havlat’s stick into his own face, and Havlat gets the call.

Detroit has been my “Third team” to root for for decades.  I think I still have a Stevie Y. rookie card somewhere.  And while yeah I’m for it since I’m pro-Wild, this hit was no different than many others that DET has laid on Wild players and others.  It just happened to have resulted in a game-winner.

And I won’t even bring up a certain player initialed “T.B.”

Posted by Peter from Minneapolis on 11/03/11 at 11:36 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I miss something?  George, when did your blog get renamed “The Minnesota Wild Fans’ Circle-Jerk?”

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/03/11 at 03:55 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

From the last thread:

Posted by Bravvo from Grand Rapids on 11/02/11 at 11:39 AM ET

This, a thousand times this.  Yeah, changes are afoot, but that has to start with the coach.  Squandering players’ talents by trying to fit square pegs into round holes isn’t the way to do it.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/03/11 at 04:02 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.