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The Malik Report

Red Wings off-day news: Five more years of Griffins call-ups

Updated 3x with Ken Holland offering injury updates at 1:43 PM: The Detroit Red Wings aren’t practicing today, per the team’s Twitter account, but they made a move in sending Chris Conner back down to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins will be playing against the Texas Stars tonight, and as Paul noted, the Wings renewed their affiliation with their developmental arm for five more seasons:

The Grand Rapids Griffins and Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday announced a five-year extension of their affiliation agreement, ensuring that the relationship between Michigan’s premier hockey teams will continue through at least the 2016-17 season.

The 10-year-old affiliation, currently in its final season of a second five-year deal, has helped produce a Stanley Cup and an AHL regular season championship, along with multiple division titles for both teams.

Geographically, with the two teams located just 160 miles apart, the affiliation is among the closest of all AHL-NHL pairings. That proximity has proved beneficial for Detroit on many occasions, as the Griffins have sent 46 players on to Hockeytown since 2002.

“The American League is critical for all NHL teams, and having a great relationship with Grand Rapids helps keep up competitive,” said Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland. “We’re all thrilled with our arrangement.

“As a former minor league player myself, it’s exciting to see 8,000 to 10,000 fans and a great atmosphere in the building each night,” Holland said. “It’s a wonderful city and there is terrific support from the community as well as the ownership. It’s a real positive environment for our young players.”

Among other benefits to the Griffins, this new agreement transfers responsibility for all players and hockey operations staff – including coaches, equipment managers and trainers – to the Red Wings. Already, Detroit’s assistant general managers, Jim Nill and Ryan Martin, have been overseeing the Griffins’ day-to-day hockey operations since the departure of longtime Grand Rapids general manager Bob McNamara last summer.

Also, the Griffins will play their first-ever outdoor game as part of the Red Wings “Hockeytown Winter Festival” at Comerica Park in December, hosting the Toronto Marlies in the lead-up to the 2013 NHL Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with one of the premier organizations in professional sports,” said Scott Gorsline, the Griffins’ chief operating officer. “Detroit is committed to developing its prospects in a winning environment. Given the Red Wings’ complete oversight of our hockey operations and their talented management team, we’re confident that their remarkable ability to produce a Stanley Cup contender season after season will result in similar success for us at the AHL level.”

Over the last decade, the Griffins have won a pair of division titles and have twice advanced to the conference finals, most notably in 2005-06 when they captured the AHL’s Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as regular season champions.

Griffins fans have welcomed the Red Wings to Van Andel Arena for several events, including four Red & White intrasquad games – most recently in 2011 – and a “Wings for Lunch” practice in 2007. In addition, they’ve had the opportunity to watch stars such as Chris Chelios, Curtis Joseph, Manny Legace, Andreas Lilja and Chris Osgood play for the Griffins during conditioning stints. Other NHL veterans have been sent to bolster Grand Rapids’ lineup over time, including Ty Conklin, who has guided the Griffins to a 5-1 record since joining the club two weeks ago.

For the Red Wings, the impact of the affiliation has been unmistakable on the ice at Joe Louis Arena. The names of nine Grand Rapids alumni were engraved on the Stanley Cup following Detroit’s 2008 title, and 15 current or former Griffins played a part in the Red Wings’ recent NHL record-breaking 23-game home winning streak. Every game during that incredible run was backstopped by one of the Griffins’ top two all-time leaders in wins (Jimmy Howard or Joey MacDonald), and in each of the last five games during the streak, the majority of Red Wings who played were Griffins alumni.

In all, 19 of the 30 players who’ve skated for the parent club this season are former or current Griffins, and 12 Detroit regulars logged at least one complete season in Grand Rapids prior to earning a full-time job with the Red Wings: Howard, MacDonald, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Niklas Kronwall, Kyle Quincey, Justin Abdelkader, Cory Emmerton, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jiri Hudler and Jan Mursak.

Update: Also of Red Wings-related note today:

• The Wings’ website reminds us that Patrick Eaves will be signing autographs at the Meijer in Commerce Township today from 5-7 PM and the Meijer in Livonia tomorrow from 5-7 PM;

Don’t forget that Joey MacDonald and Jimmy Howard are also signing autographs at Hockeytown Authentics today for a $20 charitable donation;

• If you’re a glutton for punishment, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon wrote a gushy article about the fact that the St. Louis Blues lead the Central Division;

• Interesting: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke to several GM’s about the concept that teams should be compensated when management types leave, and Brian Burke brought up Steve Yzerman leaving for Tampa Bay as a prime example of the concept that money or draft picks should change hands when executives scoot;

• Speaking of Tampa Bay, the Ottawa Citizen’s Allen Panzeri spoke to a very happy Mike Commodore about becoming a member of the Lightning:

The trade deadline also gave Mike Commodore a new life. With the Detroit Red Wings, he had only played 17 games and it wasn’t likely he’d be playing many more for the rest of the season. He knew he’d have to go to a team where he’d be able to play if he wanted to continue his career, so the move to Tampa was a godsend.

He’s played four straight games since arriving, averaging around 15 minutes a game. Even better is that he loves Florida.

“Life in Florida is great,” he said on Tuesday morning. “If Tampa doesn’t re-sign me, I might stay here anyway. This place is awesome. I’ve been here for a week and I’m not going anywhere.”

This new affection for Florida, however, has cost him 20 to 30 of his 42,000 Twitter followers, after his humour wasn’t appreciated in a video clip he tweeted to illustrate his love of the Sunshine State.

Fans of the movie Slapshot will remember the scene. It’s the scene in which Chiefs captain Johnny Upton and Morris Wanchuk are toasting a rumoured move to Florida and Wanchuk offers his off-coloured salute to the women of Florida that is not even close to being acceptable for a family newspaper.

Commodore said he had second thoughts about hitting the send button.

“But in the end, I thought what the heck,” he said.

• CBS Detroit shifts our focus back to the current Wings via a “roster report..

—C Henrik Zetterberg is heating up at the right time. After struggling to score the first half of the season, Zetterberg has become the team’s go-to guy. He has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in his past 15 games. He is holding onto the puck longer, taking it strong to the net and making plays to set up teammates.

—RW Johan Franzen is skating better on a line with grinders Darren Helm and Drew Miller. Franzen, slumping of late, scored his second goal in four games and had several excellent chances, with a game-high seven shots against the Flyers.

—G Joey MacDonald had won seven consecutive starts before suffering a 3-2 loss to the Flyers. The only other start he lost this season was a 3-1 decision in Phoenix on Feb. 6. His other two losses were in relief. MacDonald continues to give the team a chance to win by making timely saves and not allowing many soft goals.

• He’s not going to change anyone’s mind, but in light of the fact that Niklas Kronwall wasn’t suspended for his hit on Jakub Voracek, the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa offers a commentary on the hit. It’s incredibly doofy in terms of suggesting that the onus is completely on players to keep their heads up, and his closer is equally puzzling:

[T]he Flyers never put up their dukes to retaliate against the Wings. Instead, they mostly watched the more-skilled Wings fly about the ice and outshoot them two-to-one for the rest of the game, while the Flyers clung desperately to their lead and eventually emerged victorious.

It is only more evidence for the naysayers, who say the Wings will not prevail in the playoffs unless they fight more. If ever there was a game that called for a Shanahan, a McCarty, a Kocur or a Rouse to enforce order and deter attacks, it was last night against the Flyers. But none of those guys were out there, and neither were Todd Bertuzzi or Jonathan Ericsson and yet neither Justin Abdelkader, Brad Stuart, Brendan Smith or any of the other Red Wings were called upon to fight. Amid the hoots and catcalls from the Flyers’ ornery fans, and the evident hostility of the Flyers themselves, the Red Wings simply played on.

As for Kronwall, the time will come, and probably sooner than later, when he will immediately have to fight after one of his big checks. Even if it is entirely clean, as it was against Voracek, Kronwall will be challenged to fight.

And although he has a well-earned reputation as one of the most destructive open-ice hitters in the game, he is not known as a fighter. But he must be prepared to drop the gloves.

Why?

• And finally, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers this from Ken Holland about the Red Wings’ demotion of Chris Conner and their various injuries:

The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned forward Chris Conner to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The move doesn’t necessarily mean that Todd Bertuzzi (groin strain) will be ready for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). General manager Ken Holland said today that he had no updates on any of his injured players because the team is off.

“We’ll see (Thursday) who we need to bring up,’’ Holland said. “(The Griffins) are fighting for a playoff spot. We assigned (Conner) back to try to give Grand Rapids a boost. We’ll assess tomorrow where Bertuzzi is at.’‘

Bertuzzi, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (bone bruise in ankle) and goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin strain) are listed as day-to-day. Center Pavel Datsyuk (knee) has been skating on his own but won’t be ready until sometime during next week’s three-game trip to California. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (fractured wrist) is skating on his own but not due back until late March or early April.

Update #2: Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

Will have story on web soon with news on the #RedWings injured, but basically, all improving, day-to-day for most.
...
Datsyuk (knee) still on track to return next week. Kindl (UP) out 1-2 weeks.
...
Groin-impaired Jimmy Howard and Todd Bertuzzi have had pictures taken, negative for tears, #RedWings cautious with bringing them back
...
Captain Cyborg, aka Nicklas Lidstrom, “feeling better every day,” per Holland. Has missed 4 games with bone bruise.
...
#RedWings aren’t practicing today, so “we’ll get to rink tomorrow and see where guys are at,” Holland says, as far as anyone coming back Fri

Update #2.5: Let’s all be surrised that the Flyers told CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio that a little letting-go of penalties helped them win last night:

Old-time defensive hockey is back and during the final minute of play against Detroit on Tuesday night, it was in full regale as Nicklas Grossmann went toe-to-toe with Detroit’s Johan Franzen, clearing the crease and burying him and Bryz into the net without a call. The Flyers won, 3-2.

“Last minute of the game, if you get a penalty it doesn’t really matter, you got to battle for position,” Grossmann said. “If he is there first, you got to push him away. Take your ground back. Especially that last minute. They were pushing and we wanted to control the lead and clear the ice in front of Bryz so he can see everything. Credit to them, they pushed good, but Bryz had a great game for us, putting it together back there making saves for us. That’s where it starts – him at the net and then up to the defense.”

Flyers forward Max Talbot said he likes the fact the officials are allowing individual battles at the net both ways without one team being placed at a disadvantage.

“The last two games, I think the refs have been letting us play and you feel like the playoffs are coming around the corner,” Talbot said.

“I speak for myself.  I don’t mind it. As long as it’s fair for both sides, maybe they’re going to let a couple things go, but it’s hockey. Tonight it was a playoff atmosphere a little bit. the crowd was loud and i think for us to finish a game like this protecting a lead in the last minute against a team like Detroit is huge for our confidence down the road.”

Update #3: Here’s the Free Press’s Helene St. James’ report about the Wings’ injuries, per Ken Holland:

The Detroit Red Wings took today off because they don’t play again until Friday, when they host the Los Angeles Kings. General manager Ken Holland provided the Free Press with the following updates today:

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom: Sore ankle, still day-to-day, but feeling better every day.

Forward Pavel Datsyuk: Knee surgery, is skating, still on track to return next week.

Forward Todd Bertuzzi: Groin, day-to-day.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard: Groin, day-to-day.

Defenseman Jakub Kindl: Upper body, out 1-2 weeks.

The Wings sent Chris Conner back to the Griffins this morning so he could play with the team tonight. He won’t be needed back in Detroit if Bertuzzi can go Friday, and the Wings are hopeful both of their groin-impaired players won’t be out long.

“The groin injuries, we’ve taken pictures, all are just strains,” Holland said. “We’re listing them as day-to-day, but we’re going to be cautious, because if we’re not cautious and push these guys and they tear their groins, they’ll be out three weeks.”

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Comments

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MsRedWinger's avatar

Great news!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 03:50 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I know most people disagree with me on this point, but I don’t like that Kronwall won’t drop the gloves.  Sure his hits are “legal,” but let’s not kid ourselves about their borderline nature.

I don’t think its sportsmanlike to drill somebody who isn’t looking just because you can.  I also think that in hockey terms at least, its doubly unsportmanlike to decline a fight after such a play.  The other team has a right to keep the flies off of their guys too.  If Kronwall hurts somebody bad enough and won’t fight, he might find himself having more in common with Steve Moore than he’d like one of these days.

I like Kronwall, don’t get me wrong, but it’s real easy to be a tough guy when you line up Martin Havlat or Jake Vorachek (especially when they aren’t looking).  Its not so easy to back up your play with your fists.  He should have the brass to fight as well, and it isn’t unreasonable for the other team to expect him to answer the bell.  I think he comes off as a little bit of a pussy when he just skates back to the bench, and that invites the other team to take cheap shots on our other guys.  If that short handed goal hadn’t diffused the situation last night, I wonder who we would be calling up from Grand Rapids today?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 04:51 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Hitters never had to answer for good, hard, clean hits before in the game. Having to answer for a good, hard, clean hit means the other team has no respect, not the player delivering said hit.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/12 at 05:05 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/12 at 02:05 PM ET

I’m sure I’m about to field one hundred breathless dissenters on this, but I think Kronwall stretches the definition of a “clean hit” just a little.  Just because a hit is lawful by the rules, does not mean it is between players. 

I really don’t understand the mentality folks have around here that the other team is just supposed to accept it and go back to the bench when one of their teammates gets knocked unconscious.

I wonder also, what the general attitude would be around here if Pav or Flip got drilled like that?  Would we or the Red Wings themselves be happy with a pat on the shoulder and a “keep your head up kid?”  I wouldn’t be, I can tell you that.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 05:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

First of all, I will say I don’t disagree that some of Kronwall’s hits go over the line. I do not believe him to be a dirty player at all, however, as his ‘over the line’ hits tend to be airborne rather than blindside, and his elbows rarely fly. Also, he’s gotten better about it this season, I think. He’s no Matt Cooke. Who has also gotten better about it actually.

But, I don’t understand why a guy *has to* accept an invitation to fight at all unless it’s a case of an obvious, egregiously dirty play. Just because you think Kronwall plays too close to the edge with some of his hits doesn’t mean they’re all dirty and that he needs to agree to 5-minutes in the box every time a team sends out a 4th liner to get even with him, which happens with nearly every hit these days, clean or dirty. The fact is, nearly every Flyer who commented on the hit after the game said they weren’t sure if it was legal, clean, dirty or otherwise. So they were going after Kronwall mainly as retribution because their guy got hurt. And yet it’s Kronwall who is supposed to take the bait and fight? When he’s Detroit’s top Dman on the ice in a very close game? That would be stupid.

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 05:58 PM ET

Avatar

I know most people disagree with me on this point, but I don’t like that Kronwall won’t drop the gloves.  Sure his hits are “legal,” but let’s not kid ourselves about their borderline nature.

Sorry, if they’re legal he shouldn’t have to.

If he should have to fight after delivering a legal hit then Henrik Zetterberg should have to drop the gloves after scoring a goal.

Both are actions that are within the rules and they hurt the opposing team, so why not?

Its not so easy to back up your play with your fists.


So?  If it’s legal he shouldn’t have to back up his play.

He should have the brass to fight as well, and it isn’t unreasonable for the other team to expect him to answer the bell.

What does brass have to do with anything?  And yes, I’m sorry, but it is unreasonable to expect him to answer the bell because there’s no reason for the bell to ring if the hit is clean.

How about he throws the hit, then the other team can go look at the replays and see if the hit is dirty?  Then if they decide it IS dirty they can try to get him to fight. 

Why is it OK for the team to jump a guy over a clean hit?

Posted by Garth on 03/07/12 at 06:00 PM ET

awould's avatar

.... and I just saw this:
Voracek says it was a clean hit, the type that should not be outlawed. Blamed himself for having his head down. #Flyers

So you’re blaming Kronwall for not fighting to defend his clean hit? It makes no sense. I can’t blame the Flyers for going after him during the game, and I think they reacted after the game in a very honorable way by not throwing out a bunch of accusations, and now Voracek himself is admitting it was clean. Very nice. But somehow Kronwall is a coward for not agreeing to fight for no good reason?

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 06:01 PM ET

Avatar

Maybe this is just me being a wussy liberal softy, but I don’t think players should be required get punched in the face, and to punch others in the face, any and every time they make a legal body check and somebody on the other team gets mad about it.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 03/07/12 at 06:03 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 03/07/12 at 03:03 PM ET

I think that’s you being logical and rational. Sometimes that is mistaken for being a liberal.

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 06:07 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/07/12 at 02:21 PM.

I dissent to your opinion as well.  If a guy make a clean hit, meaning within the confines of the rules, what other kind of hit is it then.  Just because it is a huge hit or it hurts the other guy doesn’t make it bad or dirty.  If the the hit is within the rules why else would it be considered a dirty hit?  Scoring a goal is within the rules but does that mean if the other team doesn’t like the goal it gives them the right to go after the scorer?  I don’t think a guy should have to fight because he made a clean hit that destroyed the other player.  Its part of the game, legally.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 03/07/12 at 06:16 PM ET

Avatar

I wonder also, what the general attitude would be around here if Pav or Flip got drilled like that?  Would we or the Red Wings themselves be happy with a pat on the shoulder and a “keep your head up kid?”

I think there is quite a bit of room between “keep your head up kid” and a fight being required in such instances.  You can respond by playing a hard hitting, physical yet disciplined hockey game. 

To me, the mentality that a hit to the head is dangerous, and therefore must be answered with punches to the face is even more silly.

I dont think its just wings fans, i think there is an attitude change in hockey fans in general.  I don’t know if its more generational or related to the concussions and headshot debate.  But there seems to be less support for “staged fights” and probably fighting in general.  Personally i dont think a decline in the vigilante justice mentality in hockey would detract from the game at all.

Posted by jwad on 03/07/12 at 06:17 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I think he comes off as a little bit of a pussy when he just skates back to the bench,

Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/07/12 at 02:21 PM ET

I let the insult to females go there and say that I think it’s classy that the Wings seldom get suckered into injury-risking fights just to prove their manly or something.  I don’t like fighting in hockey, but my understanding was that fighting was done by a player to avenge a cheap shot taken on another player on his team.  I was never under the impression that a player who delivers a clean hit should then have to “defend” that hit by fighting someone.  That just doesn’t even make sense.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 06:30 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I wonder also, what the general attitude would be around here if Pav or Flip got drilled like that?

Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/07/12 at 02:21 PM ET

Hudler got drilled exactly like that in the playoffs a couple of years back and the consensus of opinion was that he “should have kept his head up.”

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 06:32 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I think that’s you being logical and rational. Sometimes that is mistaken for being a liberal.

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 03:07 PM ET

LOL - I would say that happens often.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 06:34 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

A couple of typos in my first post there - sorry - “I’ll”... and “they’re” - wish there was an “edit” button.  Guess I should proofread better before I post.  Was in a hurry.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/07/12 at 06:36 PM ET

Avatar

I have to believe the fact that Kronwall isn’t a fighter makes the opposing team more likely to try to get him to answer the bell. It is really easy to stand up for a teammate knowing nothing will happen to you. If it where a Probert or Kocur type of player delivering the hit I would think his teammates would look to see if it was a clean hit before they ran out to get themselves a concussion.

Posted by Phil from Grand Rapids on 03/07/12 at 07:09 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

”... the opportunity to watch stars such as… Andreas Lilja.”

LOL

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 03/07/12 at 07:23 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 03/07/12 at 03:30 PM ET

Fair enough for calling me out on the careless language.  Coward is too strong a word for what I was trying to say, after all Kronwall has the courage to head back over the bench every time.  In my search for a word that fits somewhere between cowardly and sportsmanlike, I typed it hastily without waiting for a better word to come to mind.  So I apologize for that.  But, if I may, please don’t call me out for something and tell me you’re letting it go in the same breath, thats only fair.

Posted by Garth on 03/07/12 at 03:00 PM ET

Am I right that the Cooke on Savard hit was legal when it happened (I’m asking honestly)?  If so, by your logic the Bruins had nothing to be upset about.  Now you can shoot back and say they didn’t, but I’m not going to believe you’re being very serious or reasonable on that point.

Your analogy about goals vs hits is not a level comparison.  The game could be played without hitting, e.g. the All-Star game.  Now I agree that would suck, but you can have hockey without hitting.  You can’t have hockey without goal scoring.


——————
I guess the crux is I don’t think a hit is clean merely because it’s legal.  Do Kronwall’s hits really pass the smell test to everyone here?  I don’t think smoking a defenseless player is a clean play whether the player put themselves in that position or not; that is why I think Kronwall is guilty of backing down when he shouldn’t (relative to fighting).  It just feels like he is having it both ways to me.

Anyway, I don’t think Kronwall is a dirty player.  He’s a gent 99% of the time on the ice.  I just don’t like how he rides the fence with his hits.  There are/have been hundreds of defensemen in the NHL that do their job well with a lot of physicality without resorting to hits like that.  I don’t think he has to drop the gloves every time, but I just think if you want to play with an edge, play with an edge.  I think the legal argument/excuse is a bit of a duck. 

So my opinion in summary:

1.) There are plenty ways to separate your man from the puck without killing him.
2.) Players have a responsibility for their own safety and Vorachek is no different, but hitters (ought to) share responsibility for that as well. 
3.) Just because you can throw that hit doesn’t mean you have to.

-So-

If you do opt to make the big hit, rather than setting up your teammates to absorb additional abuse, suck it up and accept the challenge to fight every now and then.

Thats my opinion and I’m sticking by it!

And I should also say the Flyers were very level headed about it afterwards.  Very classy on their part.

Oh, and, LRGW!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 07:50 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Phil from Grand Rapids on 03/07/12 at 04:09 PM ET

Hit the nail on the head.  Because it’s Kronwall, and he wears a size 8 shoe, players rush to jump him because they know he’s going to shy away.  If Probie crushed someone like that, I garauntee they’d show some restraint on the ice.

Anyone else feel like the Wings looked like they were more worried they were going to get their asses kicked after the Kronwall hit than being energized by it. 

And Bez, I think you got it twisted.  Why should our fill in top D man have to leave a 1 goal game for 5 minutes for deliverying a solid clean check?  Does that make him a pussy? Where do you draw the line as well?  What if it’s just a really hard check and someone doesn’t get knocked out, still have to answer?  Have to answer on the Briere Hit, the Kesler Hit? Essentially, if you hit someone, you have to fight or you’re a pussy?

Sounds like you want hitting out of the game too

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 07:54 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Hudler got drilled exactly like that in the playoffs a couple of years back and the consensus of opinion was that he “should have kept his head up.”

Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 03/07/12 at 03:32 PM ET

I don’t really see how that changes anything I’ve said.  Anybody who says Mike Brown had a total green light to elbow Hudler in the face because Hudler made himself vulnerable needs to turn Don Cherry off the television.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 07:55 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

And Bez, I think you got it twisted.  Why should our fill in top D man have to leave a 1 goal game for 5 minutes for deliverying a solid clean check?  Does that make him a pussy? Where do you draw the line as well?  What if it’s just a really hard check and someone doesn’t get knocked out, still have to answer?  Have to answer on the Briere Hit, the Kesler Hit? Essentially, if you hit someone, you have to fight or you’re a pussy?

Sounds like you want hitting out of the game too

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 04:54 PM ET

Kronwall has more than one option on that play.  There other hits he can throw on that play.  I’d rather he make a different play and not furnish the Flyers with unearned momentum.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 07:59 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

There are/have been hundreds of defensemen in the NHL that do their job well with a lot of physicality without resorting to hits like that

Yeah, that’s because they could just stick an elbow out and do the same damage.  Paging Scott Stevens.


I remember when Z was reaching out for a puck against Mattias Ohlund and got hammered Kronwall style.  Ohlund is monsterous and Z is small.  Z was reaching for a puck and got hammered.  Resulted in a shoulder injury for Z as well.  Every response I remember seeing was, DONT REACH FOR THE PUCK. 

I think you have some weird set of moral code for hockey players and your expectations of how they should play and how they should react.  Weird every other hockey player who analyzed this outside of Philly said it’s a text book hit and we want to keep those hits in the game.  So this is really just your preference on what type of game you’d like to watch.  Not an unwritten rule hockey players play by.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 08:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’d rather he make a different play and not furnish the Flyers with unearned momentum.
Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/07/12 at 04:59 PM ET


Well on most other teams, hits like those energize the team who’s player made the hit.  Teams aren’t supposed to tuck tail like they did last night.  If the other team is pissed and want to come at you fine, but don’t start shying away from taking hits to make plays, keep playing hard.

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

Avatar

It just feels like he is having it both ways to me.

Sorry, but whether it passes your “smell test” is irrelevent.  Unless it breaks the rules as written then there is no reason at all for Kronwall to fight.

Your analogy about goals vs hits is not a level comparison.  The game could be played without hitting, e.g. the All-Star game.

I’m not sure what your point is.  You’re saying that Kronwall should fight someone when he delivers a clean, legal hit.  How is that different from someone being expected to fight after scoring a goal?

It’s no more right for someone to try to beat up a player for delivering a legal hit than it is for someone to try to beat up a player for scoring a goal.

I don’t really see how that changes anything I’ve said.

Speaking of trying to have it both ways…  You asked a specific question and she answered it specifically.  What more do you want?

Am I right that the Cooke on Savard hit was legal when it happened (I’m asking honestly)?

In my opinion no.  It was still elbowing and there was still intent to injure.  The NHL really dropped the ball on the Cooke hit.

There are plenty ways to separate your man from the puck without killing him.

Did I miss a headline?  It was a solid body-to-body hit.  It was a legal hit.  No, he didn’t have to make the hit but neither does a player have to shoot the puck when the net is empty.  Isn’t it just mean to add insult to injury by scoring an empty netter?

If you do opt to make the big hit, rather than setting up your teammates to absorb additional abuse, suck it up and accept the challenge to fight every now and then.

No.  You’re wrong.

Hitting is legal.  Fighting is not.

Therefore every time you perform the legal action of hitting someone you should have to follow that up by performing the illegal action of fighting someone?

You’re asking him to accept punishment for doing nothing wrong.

Should I get fired for doing my job well?  Should a student fail because he did too well on a test?

If a player delivers a hit within the rules he should never, ever be expected to have to fight.

Ever.

Posted by Garth on 03/07/12 at 08:11 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I wonder also, what the general attitude would be around here if Pav or Flip got drilled like that?  Would we or the Red Wings themselves be happy with a pat on the shoulder and a “keep your head up kid?”  I wouldn’t be, I can tell you that.


That’s to show the point I was making with the Z hit analogy.  In case you’re wondering why.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 08:15 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Am I right that the Cooke on Savard hit was legal when it happened (I’m asking honestly)?  If so, by your logic the Bruins had nothing to be upset about.

These two hits are so far apart that bringing them up in the same post is crazy at best.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/12 at 08:39 PM ET

Avatar

Garth.  Did you miss where I said I don’t think it a legal hit is necessarily a clean hit?  What I’m saying kind of turns on that.  Moreover, they way other teams react to Kronner when he does that suggests to me that they don’t think his hits are within the normal realm of conduct.  There are unwritten gentlemen’s rules in the game too. 

Also, I know I don’t always state my opinion as clearly as I could, but would you try to understand me before giving my opinion short shrift?  I know being right all the time is an awful burden, but you trucked right on by a few things I was trying to say.  It’s ok if we don’t agree.  We’ll both survive.

Posted by Bezukov on 03/07/12 at 08:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I wonder also, what the general attitude would be around here if Pav or Flip got drilled like that?  Would we or the Red Wings themselves be happy with a pat on the shoulder and a “keep your head up kid?”  I wouldn’t be, I can tell you that.

Posted by bezukov from South of Detroit on 03/07/12 at 02:21 PM ET

It seems to be the prevailing opinion of the people discussing it at Broad Street Hockey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/07/12 at 09:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNFvMpwzVeI&feature=fvst

I’d recommend this for their viewing pleasure then JJ

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 09:47 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

These two hits are so far apart that bringing them up in the same post is crazy at best.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/07/12 at 05:39 PM ET

MrFlully I was making the comparison in a limited sense.  What Kronwall and Cooke did aren’t even in the same universe.

The Cooke hit as Garth pointed out was illegal at the time because of elbowing, not because of Savard’s head being the principle point of contact.  So for a moment ignore the elbowing penalty and just look at the head shot aspect of the event.  The logical thrust of Garth’s argument (within the confines of this thought experiment) runs that the Bruins had nothing to be upset about, because there wasn’t a head shot rule at the time.

Now stepping back into reality:

1.) I don’t think Garth thinks that, and

2.) The point of my analogy was to illustrate that a hit being legal doesn’t necessarily make it compliant with the morals of the game (for lack of a more definite term).  Another example would be that there is not a rule against shooting after the whistle (at least I don’t think so, maybe it falls under unsportsmanlike conduct), but even so, the players seem to agree that its just not done.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 09:48 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Bezukov.  We can disagree, you wrote some novels up there, others can too, it’s alright without incinuating they’re being unreasonable.

Check out this video.  THIS is why Kronwall shouldn’t have to fight after a big hit.  This is the effect a big hit can have in the game, regardless if you “have” to hit him that way or not.  If it’s legal, it’s legal and can be used as an advantage or you can let yourself be disadvantaged by it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZoX_nlYKg8

One of my fav RW hits btw

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 09:50 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Kronners got a great sniff after that hit too..  If he wasn’t worried about being jumped he may have paid attention to the shot, different game then.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 09:55 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 06:47 PM ET

Some would call that a dirty hit because he left his feet. Not me, but some. I wouldn’t call it dirty because I frequently defend Kronwall for leaving his feet during a hit. Not before, but during the hit when the momentum carries him up.

But back to the video… classic example of what great announcers we get to enjoy as Red Wings fans. Not an inkling of the typical homer BS that most teams foist on everyone. Ken and Mick called it a clean hit right away and blamed it on Zetterberg for his bad habit of reaching for the puck.

Contrast that with Kronwall’s hit on Havlat, when the Chicago media acted like Kronwall skated over his Havlat’s pet kittens before clubbing his baby over the head, with not one mention that Havlat’s gotten his clock cleaned several times because of his bad habit of not keeping his head up.

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 09:58 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

It seems to be the prevailing opinion of the people discussing it at Broad Street Hockey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/07/12 at 06:00 PM ET

I’ll admit that last night’s hit was more on the innocuous side compared to others that Kronwall has thrown.  Nonetheless, Its fair to wonder if the Flyers and Co. would have been so stoic about the issue had they lost last night.

It probably looks like I have my shorts in a much bigger twist about this than I really do.  I just think hits like that are unnecessary and needlessly dangerous.  Too much of what is great about hockey gets lots in the more violent aspects of the game.  I’m not against hitting, but I’m not as interested in watching (speaking generally here) goon hockey as I am in watching the skill players do their thing.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 10:01 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Was danny markovs hit ggoon hockey.. directly led to a datsyu goal… these hits are clean and have their place

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 10:07 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Quoting awould :

Contrast that with Kronwall’s hit on Havlat, when the Chicago media acted like Kronwall skated over his Havlat’s pet kittens before clubbing his baby over the head, with not one mention that Havlat’s gotten his clock cleaned several times because of his bad habit of not keeping his head up.

I saw it and I saw kitten bodies all over the ice and a Red Wing player in the stands hitting a baby.  Oh, wait, I’m not a Chicago sports writer….................never mind.

When guys realize that Kronwall makes the unwary explode into many parts, they may start to pay attention.  Intimidation has not been part of Red Wings hockey since the Bruise Brothers departed.

Probert fought for fightings sake, in my opinion.  Joey Kocur, however, fought to injure his opponent.  People did not fight Kocur casually.  That was intimidation.  Kronwall should have this factor going for him.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 03/07/12 at 10:07 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBYhK9I4P8g

That’s for you Doc wink

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 10:12 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Let’s also not forget that if the Wings want to not have to fight after these hits, they should start scoring on the PP when the other team retaliates.  That’d go a long way.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 10:15 PM ET

awould's avatar

they should start scoring on the PP when the other team retaliates.  That’d go a long way.

Amen to that.

Posted by awould on 03/07/12 at 10:18 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

So this is really just your preference on what type of game you’d like to watch. 

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/07/12 at 05:06 PM ET

I’ll agree to that readily. 

I remember a while back Mickey talking about letting up on people when their backs are turned instead of drilling them through the boards.  I think the same principle ought to apply to a player with his head down, and given some of the on ice reactions to Kronwall that we’ve seen over the years, I’m not alone in that mindset.  So that’s why I think the guy should drop the gloves from time to time, as a way of putting his money where his mouth is. 

As far as everything else on the topic, I’ve said my piece. 

I do want to say to you, H/O, before I call it an evening on KK, that I was responding to Garth’s “Zetterberg scoring goals is equatable to hitting so players should want to fight every time he scores” casuistry.  I wasn’t picking a bone with you over your point about Z my friend.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/07/12 at 10:35 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.