The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/18/13 at 12:28 AM ET
Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall discussed the hit that sent him off on a stretcher during the Red Wings' 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday evening, speaking with Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman from Denver...and as you might imagine, Kronwall chose not to blame Cody McLeod's reckless play for its concussion-inducing result (and what follows is roughly translated):
"I'm okay. It was needless. But it's my own fault," says the Swedish star to Sportbladet.
The game between the classic rivals--the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings, at the Pepsi center--barely had time to start when the latest of a series of horrific scenes on NHL ice played out.
Niklas Kronwall, the Red Wings' top defenseman, and one of the linchpins of Par Marts' Swedish Olympic team, was chasing a puck into the corner boards.
Cody McLeod was just behind him, and as the Swede bowed his head, the Colorado forward checked Kronwall hard in the back.
"Kronner's" face hit the boards, his helmet flew off and he was then lying on the ice in a face-up position, considerably shaken and dazed.
In the end, he was taken off the ice via a stretcher.
Fortunately, the 32-year-old Stockholm native wasn't taken to a hospital as his injuries weren't worse than anything requiring treatment in the locker room.
Diagnosis: a mild concussion and a gash in the ear, and thus at least a short-term absence. The protocol for players with concussions is that they're not supposed to return until they've been completey symptom-free for a week.
"There's no danger. It was just needless. It was mostly my own fault," Kronwall says to Sportbladet from Denver.
He says that he placed himself in a dangerous situation.
McLeod still received a match penalty, and all the North American experts who spoke last night suggested that it was a disrespectful hit and that he should have avoided hitting his opponent in the back.
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