The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/06/12 at 10:55 PM ET
Updated 4x with Flyers comments at 12:03 AM: Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall lined up Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek at the Flyers’ blueline tonight, hoping to land an elbow or butt into Voracek’s body…But Voracek was leaning forward and hit Voracek shoulder-to-head. I don’t believe there was any intent to injure on Kronwall’s part, but this will certainly be reviewed as Voracek was woozy and left the game
Here’s how the Flyers’ broadcasters saw it:
Here’s hoping that Voracek’s okay.
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, Here’s NHL.com’s clip, narrated by the Wings’ broadcasters:
Update #2: Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi’s take on the hit:
With about 12-1/2 minutes left in the second period and the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead, Voracek was violently knocked to the ice by Kronwall’s open-ice shoulder hit to the winger’s face. No penalty was called, and a woozy Voracek went to the locker room.
Kronwall figures to have a hearing with the NHL and faces a possible fine and suspension.
Here’s CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio’s take:
Voracek would leave the game less than eight minutes into the second period when he was crushed with a shoulder-to-face check from Detroit blue liner Niklas Kronwall – without a call.
The Flyer forward had looked up, turned and skated right into Kronwall. The play will inevitably be reviewed for a fine or suspension but given Voracek turned into the hit unknowingly, no action may come about.
The hit was so violet, Voracek’s helmet become loosened. He tried to get up and collapsed, but somehow eventually skated to the bench and headed to the dressing room.
Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski weighs in as follows:
Should this warrant a suspension? Of course not. It’s a brutal, legal hockey hit that caught Voracek with his head down, attempting to finesse the puck with one hand along the boards. He glances up before he plays the puck. He knows there’s a defender near the blue line. Made he didn’t know it was Swedish one-man wrecking crew, but he knew someone was there, and ran the risk.
Scary scene, and you hope Voracek isn’t seriously injured. But that was just a wicked example of the kind of hit that should be left in the game.
Via RedWingsFeed, here’s the NHL Network’s Gary Green’s take on the hit:
Here’s NHL.com’s update on the Flyers’ injuries:
Philadelphia forwards Jakub Voracek and Jaromir Jagr both left Tuesday’s game against Detroit in the second period with injuries.
Voracek skated off after a thunderous second-period hit by Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall just inside the Flyers’ blue line. Voracek was reaching for the puck with his head down, and Kronwall flattened him. He stayed on his knees until the next whistle, needed help to get to the bench and left for the locker room. Voracek did not come out for the third period; the Flyers said after the game that he had stitches in his upper and lower mouth.
Jagr left with what the Flyers said afterward was a hip injury.
The team said both players will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. The Flyers, who beat the Red Wings 3-2, are off until hosting Florida on Thursday.
Update #3: Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account:
Kronwall on the hit: “He was coming up along the boards and I took a stride forward.”
Kronwall: “The power play has to be a lot better than it was tonight to make a difference.”
Kronwall: “We just couldn’t find a way tonight.”
Kronwall on the fan reaction after the hit: “I think it’s just natural ... the way things happen like that .. it’s how it goes.”
Babcock: I just thought he finished his check like he always does. You never want to see a guy get hurt. Kroner is not that type of player.
Here’s one more angle from The Score:
Update #4: This was coming, from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
As can be expected, the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t take kindly to the Niklas Kronwall hit on Jakub Voracek in Tuesday’s second period.
It was a hard collision along the boards, and Voracek didn’t return to the game after the hit.
“I wanted to puke,” Flyers forward Danny Briere said. “When you see someone lay on the ice like that. I haven’t seen the replay of the hit, I don’t know if the hit was targeted or if it was a clean check. It’s still not fun to see when you’re on the ice and you see someone laying there shaking. It was a bad feeling in everybody’s stomach.”
Flyers forward Max Talbot said the team did use the hit as motivation.
“Well, we answered back. It is always frustrating and until you see the replay, you don’t know how dirty it was,” Talbot said. “Dirty or not, it is frustrating for guys in this dressing room to see a hit like this happen. You never want to see a guy go down. Obviously a lot of guys wanted to see (Niklas) Kronwall and he didn’t want to answer for his act. It is something that he thought was a clean hit so you can’t blame the guy. At the same time it is frustrating for us.”
Said Flyers forward Claude Giroux: “I didn’t see it, just the replay. It was a good hit and I didn’t really see it either if it was a head shot or not but Kronwall is pretty good at those hits. Obviously we hope Jake is gonna be okay.”
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said: “”It was a tough hit, he (Voracek) took it right in the head. It was frustrating because he’s having a terrific year, and he’s a terrific player for us and it’s substantial when you’re battling through a lot of injuries and you’re dealing with it and you take a hit like that. It’s tough and you hope he’s alright and you hope he bounces back quick
“The game happens so fast out there. It’s a defensemen stepping up on a forward. It was hard to tell, when you go back and look at it, it was clearly the head which is tough. That’s the area that’s supposed to be safer this year and he got popped right on it.”
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