Re: Niklas Kronwall checked from behind by Cody McLeod, leaves game on stretcher.
posted at 10/22/2013 4:20 PM EDT
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
Five seems like too much when even Kronwall acknowledges it was "mostly [his] fault." Big wheel keep on turnin', Proud Shanny keep on burnin'.
I just watched it again because what I remembered was the split second course correction by McLeod in response to Kronwall's move. I honestly do no know what they want McLeod to do there except maybe reduce the force of the check. Shanahan says he followed his numbers in, and that's true, but he also took an angle where, if Kronwall doesn't choose to double back, McLeod hits him shoulder to shoulder. When he corrects his course, McLeod aims in front of Kronwall to seal him off so he can't turn around and start the play up ice - basically, good forechecking. If McLeod flies by there, he's not in the league to suspend and another guy who will finish Kronwall is, so that's not an option for either side. If he doesn't correct course to deal with Kronwall's move, and the Wings break out and score, he's in the AHL in a week. Tough to hammer a guy with no record of malice for 5 games on this.
I get that Krownwall should be able to stop, change direction, etc. and if that's all he did to make himself vulnerable at the last minute, I don't think there's an incident here. But he dips down, and he keeps his back to the check to shield the puck. If he simply stops or changes direction, like you see dozens of times every night, McLeod's angle would have taken him to the front of Kronwall's front shoulder. No hit from behind. As it is, he barely hits the body at all - hardly "right in the numbers".
A guy in a vulnerable position should never be "fair game" - though for years, Scott Stevens dined out on blowing up guys in a vulnerable position - but I really dislike guys putting them in vulnerable positions to gain a competitive advantage, and that's what Kronwall did here in trying to shake McLeod. I don't think he did it the way a Ribiero would - sneeringly, with a "can't hit me, I'm vulnerable" grin - but I would hate guys to go around racking up points because they use the defensive players' respect as a weapon against them. There's a lot of that in pro sports now - if you're not a bloodthirsty gladiator, you're a wuss who should be taken advantage of.
"Big wheel keep on turnin', proud Shanny keep on burnin, suspendin' suspendin', 5 games in the sin bin" "Yeah" !!