It’s one thing to be an NHLer and get “Kronwall’d,” and quite another to be a 24 year-Latvian who’s never played the guy and get hit like this. I’m not sure why entirely, I just feel like you’d be a little more surprised. At least when NHLers are in a crumpled heap on the ice they can piece together that the number of the train that just hit them was 55 (as opposed to 7 at the Worlds). Saulietis may have thought the building got bombed or something.
International tournaments don’t see a lot of this stuff either, so it had to be even more shocking.
What amazes me about this hit is how quickly Kronwall transitions from looking like he’s skating backwards to making contact. I guess technically he is still skating backwards, only now for the forwards, he’s skating backwards at them. Seriously, watch that cut though, that’s some great skating.
Make of it what you will, clean, dirty or otherwise. Either way, this was one massive collision:
If I’m a right-winger and we’re playing a team he’s on that night, I’m making a stop into the office in the morning. “Um, coach – I think I’d like to try the off-wing tonight.”