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Kronwall In The Norris Hunt

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun hand out their midseason awards and LeBrun picks Niklas Kronwall for the Norris Trophy.

Kind of amazing when you have a list that doesn't include Shea Weber or Drew Doughty, but I think it's only a matter of time over the last half of the season that those guys will find their way into the conversation. Both players are playing much better since early-season struggles. For me, it came down to Kronwall and Letang for the midseason award. I chose the Red Wings veteran because, on a blue line that lost Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart and is trying to survive committee-style, Kronwall has had to do even more and has elevated his game in doing so. He is playing 24 minutes a game and is among the defenseman scoring leaders, and everyone knows about his physical play. I think he deserves the nod right now.

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Comments

mrfluffy's avatar

Pleasantly surprising…but I can’t say I agree. They mention Kronwall’s physical game…I haven’t seen it since last season. Sure he’s produced offensively, but I think his defensive game has suffered…and why wouldn’t it given he’s the only top 4 d-man on the team?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/13 at 01:47 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Kronwall scoffed at the suggestion from Trevor Thompson in an interview after the Avs game.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/07/13 at 01:58 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

I’m pretty sure Kronwall received a mandate to never Kronwall someone again
Can you imagine the panic on the defense/coaching staff this year, had he been suspended for a few games?
I’m not a fan of trophies, but I can understand the reason Kronwall is up there
He had to change his game a lot (the hitting part), is the main responsible for the wings defense this year, and was second on points for defenseman last time I checked

Posted by Zqto on 03/07/13 at 02:05 PM ET

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I’m not a fan of trophies, but I can understand the reason Kronwall is up there

Is it because defense doesn’t matter much when we’re talking about the Norris trophy in a time when Mike Green is a multiple-nominee?

Posted by Garth on 03/07/13 at 02:07 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Kronwall In The Norris Hunt

Ummmm…no

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/07/13 at 02:08 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I absolutely think Kronwall is in the hunt. I do not think he’s the current leader or favorite, but I think he is in the conversation of maybe the three-to-five D this season that are thus far legit contenders.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/07/13 at 02:16 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

Maybe if he gets into a positive +/- they can start talking about this seriously.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 03/07/13 at 02:21 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m pretty sure Kronwall received a mandate to never Kronwall someone again

I doubt that.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/13 at 02:40 PM ET

Avatar

kronwall only hits every other playoff season. i think that means he will be physical this playoff year, i think.

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 03/07/13 at 02:53 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Is it because defense doesn’t matter much when we’re talking about the Norris trophy in a time when Mike Green is a multiple-nominee?

Posted by Garth on 03/07/13 at 01:07 PM ET

In this instance, yeah… I dont understand how the primary statistic for a defense award is points. Makes no sense at all… Sure, should count overall, but not beeing the most important statistic on this award


SolidTG7, the FSD crew mentioned a couple games ago, that his +/- os negative, but has been on the raise constantly, and if you consider the entire wings defense corps has improved considerably, I would guess its a good chance he ends the season way positive on +/-

Posted by Zqto on 03/07/13 at 02:54 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

One thing is obvious:
Kronwall has been playing in Lidstrom’s shadow all these years, and now we are going to find out how good he really is.
I think this will take more than 1 season.
So far, so good!

Posted by w2j2 on 03/07/13 at 02:55 PM ET

TKShreve's avatar

Re: decline in hitting - he has managed to stay healthy and avoid injuries rather well in the wake of his early career where he had a few serious injuries that sidelined him for rather large chunks of games.

Discipline or directive?

Posted by TKShreve from East Uptown on 03/07/13 at 03:01 PM ET

Avatar

One thing is obvious:
Kronwall has been playing in Lidstrom’s shadow all these years, and now we are going to find out how good he really is.
I think this will take more than 1 season.
So far, so good!

Really? I guess his assist total is impressive but overall I’ve been remarkably disappointed with his performance up until now.

Posted by godblender on 03/07/13 at 03:03 PM ET

Avatar

It’s a weak field if Kris Letang is leading the pack without playing all that well. Enstrom and Karlsson were both killing it, but both are probably out for the year. As such, it’s not that strange for a guy with a lot of points like Kronwall to have his hat thrown in the ring.

Still, for all the offense and creativity he’s providing at the top of the key, it’s a rare thing in my viewing for Kronwall to come out of the corner with the puck or win a battle anywhere. As someone mentioned…it’s not quite Green getting a nomination (Kronwall’s not as hopeless in his own end as Green was), but it’s not far enough removed for my liking.

And as also mentioned, citing Kronwall’s “physical game” as a reason for his nomination is a joke. Apart from isolated “big hits,” he has never had a physical game to speak of. And since he’s made none of those this season, there’s no aside here. This is not a physical player.

Posted by larry on 03/07/13 at 03:03 PM ET

SYF's avatar

@larry, which proves Burnside and LeBrun aren’t really watching any of the games this year.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 03/07/13 at 03:06 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

One thing is obvious:
Kronwall has been playing in Lidstrom’s shadow all these years, and now we are going to find out how good he really is.
I think this will take more than 1 season.
So far, so good!

Posted by w2j2 on 03/07/13 at 01:55 PM ET

I remember when the same was said about Lidstrom playing in Konstantinov’s shadow. Taking into account what we’ve learned about Lidstrom’s game since ‘97, if we looked back at his play since the ‘94-‘95 lockout I think most would agree he was better than the Vladinator from that point on.

Posted by Bradley97 on 03/07/13 at 03:08 PM ET

Avatar

it only seems right that it stays in detroit.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 03/07/13 at 03:12 PM ET

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One more thing,

For people wondering why Kronwall isn’t trying to run people at the wall in their own end, it’s because of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpOGQ2svbUY

He could take himself way out of position and risk causing a goal against when he wasn’t the number one guy. Now that he is, it’s too irresponsible of a play to make in terms of coverage.

Posted by larry on 03/07/13 at 03:15 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by larry on 03/07/13 at 02:15 PM ET

Good point, but that is the first instance I can think of that THAT every happened.

In any case…

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/13 at 03:34 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I remember when the same was said about Lidstrom playing in Konstantinov’s shadow. Taking into account what we’ve learned about Lidstrom’s game since ‘97, if we looked back at his play since the ‘94-‘95 lockout I think most would agree he was better than the Vladinator from that point on.

Posted by Bradley97 on 03/07/13 at 02:08 PM ET

I have no doubt that Lidas would have surpassed Konstantinov at some point but it happened a lot faster due to the limo accident… not before.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/07/13 at 04:23 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I guess I’m the only one that actually has been very impressed and satisfied with the play of both Kronwall and Ericsson after the cobwebs got shaken out over the first 6 or 8 games.

I think there is a perception issue due to having watched Lidstrom all these years. Kronwall is playing very good all-around hockey if you compare him to the rest of the D in the league right now (except for maybe Karlsson… such an unfortunate injury). This is the first time in a long time we haven’t had Lidstrom, Pronger, or both.

Now, that’s not to say I think Kronwall is the favorite… not at all. Like I said, I think he’s worthy of being in the discussion as of today, but in the grand scheme of things, I think he’s probably a second-tier D in the league, behind the group of elite guys like Chara, Karlsson, Doughty, Keith, Suter, and Weber. I’d put guys like Kronwall, Letang, and Seabrook in that second level—still very good, and often all-star caliber, but not quite the best of the best.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/07/13 at 04:59 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I think he’s probably a second-tier D in the league, behind the group of elite guys like Chara, Karlsson, Doughty, Keith, Suter, and Weber. I’d put guys like Kronwall, Letang, and Seabrook in that second level—still very good, and often all-star caliber, but not quite the best of the best.

Heh…and see…I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Karlsson to see if he’s elite (thinking Mike Green here), and I think Suter and Keith are overrated. Suter is more like Rafalski to me…a great top 2, but not THE guy. Keith and Seabrook are MUCH better than Keith and Someoneelse.

Ok, back on topic…

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/13 at 05:18 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.