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Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall smokes Jakub Voracek

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.

Good news: Via Twitter, Sam Carchidi, Panaccio and the Flyers’ website all report that Voracek took stitches to his mouth, but is OK!

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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Comments

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breaking out with a mohawk turn, with your HEAD UP, is PEEWEE HOCKEY 101

you don’t see hits like that alot anymore because players learn not to put themselves in that position. Kronwall is a good skater and gives you less time. voracek had it coming

and lets leave defending every big hit with a fight to the canucks and the bruins. since when did big hits become personal insults? theres no obligation to fight there, what a bunch of BS

Posted by pat on 03/07/12 at 07:08 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

since when did big hits become personal insults

I know what you are saying, and that is elementary hockey sense, but Bob Probert would have beat the tar out of someone who did that.  They called it protecting your stars.  That is how you protect teammates from having their brain turned to pudding - you make it clear that if anyone wants to throw big hits, like extra-big, in an attempt to put a guy out of the game, will have to answer for it.
I’m not happy with the way that clean hits result in a mugging…but this is way more extreme than your usual stuff.  A team has to make it clear that there will be consequences.  Kronwall doesn’t have some special hitting ability that no one else has, he just has teammates that still respect him (?) when he hides behind the refs.  Most guys don’t do what he does, and its for a reason.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/07/12 at 07:53 PM ET

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Holy ‘toledo”, you been drinking th Maumee again. Get a clue

Posted by Mike from Somewhere in Wings land on 03/07/12 at 10:56 PM ET

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I am aware of the political aspect of fighting but this was not the place. If guys are taking extra steps on your stars or taking cheap shots behind the play…thats when you intervene.

That is not at all what happened here.  Voracek was completely complacent. Kronwall held the blue and kept the offensive pressure alive. Thats his job. We want him doing that every time. He’s a great skater and really aggressive…he earns those big hits & he certainly does not owe one of those philly goons a fight.  He could gotten a 2m rough here, but nothing unsportsmanlike about it.

Posted by Pat on 03/08/12 at 12:24 AM 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.