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Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall to keep on Kronwalling

The Detroit Red Wings received a mixed bag of injury news during Thursday’s practice as Pavel Datsyuk (knee, back next week) skated in full gear, Jonathan Ericsson (broken wrist, out 3-4 more weeks) took part in the affair, and Nicklas Lidstrom (bone bruise in his ankle, back next week) nd Jimmy Howard (groin, out for the weekend) at least laced up their skates, but Henrik Zetterberg (???, will play tomorrow), Todd Bertuzzi (groin, won’t play tomorrow, thus Gustav Nyquist’s recall) are “out,” as is Jakub Kindl (upper-body, returning next week?).

The Red Wings’ resident injury-inducing defenseman also spoke to WXYZ’s Tom Leyden about any potential changes to his game given his hit on Flyers forward Jakub Voracek, and whatever Niklas Kronwall plans on doing to refine his checking game will be slight, at best:

I think everything happens so fast out there it’s not always easy to judge if it’s a good hit or not,” said Kronwall. “You always want to think it’s a good hit, but you can’t really tell until you see the replay because everything happens so fast out there.”

“Kronner’s got to continue to play his game,” said Babcock.  “Targeting the head - he didn’t target the head.  The guy was leaning forward. He didn’t want to hurt him in any way, that’s not his intention.  I think we all know that real well in here and there’s no issue that way, but he’s gotta be a competitor and play hard and that’s part of the game. And we want that in the game, but we sure don’t want anyone getting hurt.  Kronner understands that, understands how the game’s supposed to be played and plays it well.”

Kronwall was not penalized for the hit in Tuesday’s game and faced no discipline from the NHL either.  Still, he’s well aware of his reputation and is always mindful of keeping his checks legal.

“I know in the past there’s been times that I’ve come off my feet and that’s obviously something that I’ve been trying to work on,” said Kronwall.  “I think that’s still a learning curve and I’m getting better at it I think.”

“There’s a certain amount that goes on the players you’re playing against,” said Babcock.  “Understand who on the ice does what they do.  So if I’m playing the puck on that side, I don’t have my head down.

WXYZ also posted a video of Kronwall discussing said topic:

Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan spoke to Khan about the same thing, but his article’s backdated to hit later this evening...

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Comments

Slumpy's avatar

Clean hit. Shanny made right decision.

Looking like the Blues might win the old Norris due to Datsyuk and many others out.

Nyquist 8th in AHL scoring, pt per game clip. Several in top 10 veteran AHLers who have called up to NHL several times in their careers. Nyquist 1st season in AHL I believe.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 03/08/12 at 06:29 PM ET

Avatar

I’ve been a supporter of banning all head shots period.  However a hit like this makes me realize that there is no way to completely eliminate them all. I think the phrase “keep your head up” is way over used by the internet community, and most of the time incorrectly used. However this is a true example of needing to keep your head up. Don’t have a problem with that hit.

Posted by JT from pitt on 03/08/12 at 11:56 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think this is a situation where, if you were to penalize all hits to the head like high sticks, you’d see Kronwall serve, at most, a double-minor’s worth of time in the box. He’d probably get 2 minutes instead. I’m okay with that kind of penalty for unintentional hits to the head because you really can’t eliminate them, but there’s something to be said for increasing personal responsibility.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/09/12 at 12:10 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.