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Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall with a clean hit on Ales Hemsky

Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall landed a clean butt check on Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers. Kronwall was bloodied by Corey Potter and Hemsky had to go to the “quiet room” but has nothing more than a little cut on his upper lip—and Kronwall never left his feet:

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Come on, Hemsky, are you a pro hockey player or not? Keep your head up!

Great hit by Kronwall.

Posted by Iggy_Rules on 02/05/12 at 02:30 AM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Looked like there was a good bit of elbow to the head, there.  The camera angles aren’t the best…and there’s no slow motion, but it looked like elbow to the head.  His head was down…but he didn’t move from that position, really.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/05/12 at 02:36 AM ET

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Looked like there was a good bit of elbow to the head, there.

If by “a good bit of” you mean “absolutely no”, then yes, you’re completely correct.

I don’t know if maybe your body is different than most peoples’ (and if you’re deformed, I apologize), but most people don’t have an elbow in the middle of their back.

Posted by Garth on 02/05/12 at 03:12 AM ET

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he def. left his feet on this one… would be interesting to see shanahans take on this one

Posted by greg on 02/05/12 at 03:16 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

@Flashtasdick56 “The camera angles aren’t the best…and there’s no slow motion, but it looked like elbow to the head”

... Good logic. You didn’t watch a slow motion replay, saw “bad camera angles,” and there was no penalty called, but it was definitely an elbow to the head. Just like how Zetterberg deliberately checked Nikitin from behind, right? Is it just you or do all Penguins homers need their eyes examined?

Watch a slow motion replay, or slow it down yourself, and see that Kronwall’s entire back was to Hemsky. His left elbow was outside of Hemsky’s body, and at shoulder height. Hemsky saw the hit coming and ducked, Kronwall never changed his body position and never targeted the head with any part of his body.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/05/12 at 03:20 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

@greg ... What? His feet were on the ice until impact, watch the replay. Jesus…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/05/12 at 03:23 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

yeah he left his feet.. after impact, and there was no upward motion targeting the head…

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/05/12 at 03:29 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Posted by greg on 02/05/12 at 01:16 AM ET


umm, no, he did not leave his feet.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 02/05/12 at 03:42 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Did not leave his feet.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/05/12 at 03:55 AM ET

Link_Gaetz's avatar

That’s a pretty good hit. I hate the “retribution” right afterwards, but what are you gonna do I guess.

I haven’t seen a defenseman throw so many “butt checks” since Rob Blake back in the day. The king of the Butt Check.

Posted by Link_Gaetz on 02/05/12 at 09:37 AM ET

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George,
If by didn’t leave his feet, you mean he left his feet, you’re spot on.

Posted by Harald on 02/05/12 at 12:07 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Looked like there was a good bit of elbow to the head, there. 

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Milford, CT on 02/05/12 at 12:36 AM ET

From a guy who goes out of his way to make excuses for Matt Cooke. Fuch, that is funny.

Great hit by Kronner. Suck it up, Oilers.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/05/12 at 12:10 PM ET

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I must say, I’m enjoying the intelligence of discussion here from George the Hypocrite on down.

Posted by Harald on 02/05/12 at 12:44 PM ET

LumberingD's avatar

For Red Winger - Great win by the Oilers, suck it up, Red Wings.

For the rest - Hemsky quote after the game was along the lines of, great hit, my fault, should know better.

Posted by LumberingD on 02/05/12 at 01:36 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

George the Hypocrite

You’re so right. George leaves his feet on every hit.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 02/05/12 at 01:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I leave my feet elbows first.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/05/12 at 01:55 PM ET

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I can’t really tell if it is legal or not, given the angles, but that hit is awkward as hell by Kronwall.  It’s like he wanted to go for a hip check but decided to stand upright.  Why have his back turned when making the hit?  It’s just a strange looking hit.

DrewBehr and Red Winger, this post has nothing to do with the Pens, so why even bring them up?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/05/12 at 02:29 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

If it makes anybody feel any better, the Edmonton Journal’s stickler for detail, David Staples, looked at the hit repeatedly and concluded the following:

Did the referee get it right?

I think so. Hemsky had the puck. Kronwall didn’t bash him with his stick, didn’t appear to stick out his elbow, and didn’t target his head. In fact, he backed into him. Brutal hit, but a legal hit in hockey.

Yes, Hemsky’s head was down, but Copper & Blue blogger Derek Blasutti points to Rule 48: “A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered.”

P.S. Great to see Hemsky bounce right up and thank goodness he wasn’t hurt. Tough play to get a pass like that when Kronwall is on your side of the ice.

None of the Oilers’ press corps had a beef with the hit, nor did the players.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/05/12 at 02:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If you’ve been paying attention to Shanahan videos all year, he’s clearly made the distinction between having your feet come off the ice as a result of contact and having your feet come off the ice prior to contact.

Prior to contact is a penalty, as a result of contact is not. It’s unfortunate and shameful that there are people who would talk down to other hockey fans while ignorant of this distinction.

I am very relieved to see that Hemsky wasn’t seriously injured.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/05/12 at 03:10 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

From a guy who goes out of his way to make excuses for Matt Cooke. Fuch, that is funny.

Says the guy who roots for Todd Bertuzzi.

See?  I can do that, too!

For real, though…I’ve never made excuses for Cooke.  If you can find where I have, I’ll eat my words.  Until then, I’ll stick with I’ve never made excuses for him let alone gone out of my way to do it.  Because some of the things he’s done have been deplorable.

His left elbow was outside of Hemsky’s body, and at shoulder height.

It looks like that at the angles that have Kronwall in the foreground…but the back view it looks like he caught him in the head with an elbow.  He didn’t do it purposefully or with it stuck out, but that’s where it looks like his elbow landed.  Though, the red of the pants/lower sweater and the red on the lower arms could be confusing me since the angles aren’t great and when I slow the video down the quality makes it blurry.

I’m not here trying to be a dick or start internet comment section wars.  I’m not even saying I’m right here - seeing as the guy that got hit says it was clean, it looks like I’m probably wrong.  I was looking at this as a guy with no horse in the race giving my opinion.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/05/12 at 03:24 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I guess therein lies the problem of only one video available. From the Wings’ feed, it looked like a butt check, but I’m biased.

That and between either Superbowl Sunday, Groundhog day meaning six more weeks of winter, the trade deadline coming up or SOMEthing, comments have been particularly of an agitated nature of late all over the damn place, and there’s nothing like a controversial hit by a controversial hitter with one video feed of the damn thing to stir up stuff…

Or to give people the opportunity to yell at each other. Things tend to work out that way after a Saturday of over a dozen games and on a Sunday when there are half-a-dozen games and a non-hockey-related event.

Sorry to take away from the discussion—and any time Kronwall levels somebody, we’re going to have a heated discussion—but this tones and tempers of late have been pretty harsh and short to begin with.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/05/12 at 03:29 PM ET

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I don’t have the rulebook memorized or anything, but I’m pretty sure an elbow to the face isn’t legal even when the guy’s head is down.

In fact, I’m pretty sure Max Pacioretty sat games for hitting Kris Letang with a tucked elbow while Letang’s head was down. So did some Maple Leaf at the beginning of the year.

Before someone tells me it was a buttcheck, well, here

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=33tpjeq&s=5

Elbow in face. Butt not touching Oiler on initial contact.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/05/12 at 06:55 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That’s your smoking gun?

Awesome.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/05/12 at 07:00 PM ET

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Didn’t see any smoking guns, sorry. Saw an elbow to the face, though.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/05/12 at 08:12 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Saw an elbow to the face, though.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/05/12 at 06:12 PM ET

If you saw an elbow to the face based on that blurred picture…. then you saw a rifle sticking out from behind a fence in Dealey Plaza circa 1963.

Posted by calquake on 02/05/12 at 08:24 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m just saying, folks. It’s entirely possible that Bigfoot is just a blurry creature.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/05/12 at 08:31 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

This guy could be captain if he keeps this up.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 02/06/12 at 04:09 AM ET

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If you’ve been paying attention to Shanahan videos all year, he’s clearly made the distinction between having your feet come off the ice as a result of contact and having your feet come off the ice prior to contact.

Prior to contact is a penalty, as a result of contact is not. It’s unfortunate and shameful that there are people who would talk down to other hockey fans while ignorant of this distinction.

I am very relieved to see that Hemsky wasn’t seriously injured.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/05/12 at 01:10 PM ET

  It’s never ceases to amaze me how many “fans” don’t understand this simple distinction. This is not a new rule or concept and if you don’t understand the rules you shouldn’t be on message boards whining about them. You only confirm what everyone already suspects about you….That you don’t know what the F*ck your talking about.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 02/06/12 at 04:52 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Knowing what you’re talking about can’t be a condition of posting here, or otherwise I wouldn’t able to write wink

Look, every time Kronwall makes one of these hits, even if there are eleven videos and 65 players/coaches/pundits saying that it was as clean as 100% alcohol, people are going to view the hit subjectively and interpret video subjectively depending on their opinion of Kronwall as a player and the Wings as a team.

The longer I do this job, the more I am certain that replays do absolutely nothing to change points of view.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/06/12 at 06:26 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.