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.”

Comments (37)

  1. Out of the middle of that flow of play-by-play comes one word I understand: “KRON-VALLED”. If I couldn’t see the video, that’s all I’d need to hear.

  2. Holy crap!

    That is one of the biggest hits i’ve seen, Damn!”
    I can’t even believe he got up from that, talk about trainwreck!

    A very nasty hit, almost brutal, but in my eyes it’s totally clean.
    I love these type of hits. OLD TIME HOCKEY!

  3. I am not impressed with this style of body check. To me it is cowatdly. No risk to the hitter. Am I alone in this way of thinking?

    • Of course there’s a risk to the hitter. There’s a risk he misses the hit and Kronwalls himself into the boards while the play goes the other way. You think if he misses a couple hits like that and lets somebody get past him for an odd-man that his coach isn’t going to put clamp on him?

      • If he made a habit of lining up opponents like that facing the player, he;d have eaten a few high sticks by now. That’s the risk I am speaking of.

        • Okay, I see what you’re saying. But I don’t think he’s hitting that way to avoid defensive damage inflicted by the hittee. I think he’s doing it because it’s the hardest possible legal hit.

    • The fact that there is less physical risk to the hitter is exactly why the hip check is a BRILLIANT style of checking and was used much more before shoulder pads and elbow pads became weapons. It isn’t cowardly. It is smart and it takes immense skill to do well (did you watch his feet). Rob Blake would love it.

      • Doughty will lay the occasional guy out with a hip check – he destroyed Taylor Hall with one last year. He learned from Blake, who learned from the master, Larry Robinson.

  4. personally i think it should of been a charging penalty cause he does take a couple strides just before he hits the guy but since he skating backwards into the hit nobody says anything

  5. Is that Zetterberg chuckling at 0:19? If so, I’m sure that’s a “I’ve see this maaaany times before. Ouch.” chuckle.

    Bourne’s right on that c-cut — sick in and of itself, but also how he must be able to “calculate” that he can hit that guy from his position, hence the instantaneous transition.

  6. Perfectly clean. He takes a couple of strides cutting but his feet are beside each other when he hits. That is not a charge.

    Cowardly? Hardly. Extremely smart and effective? Totally. Since when does a good hit have to mean taking a risk to hit someone??? Keep your head up next time and you won’t get knocked into next week.

    • that’s exactly what charging is taking a couple strides just before making contact. your thought to glide into the hit not skate into the hit

      • No, charging is striding INTO the guy. He takes his couple strides to cut and then his feet are beside each other NOT striding into him. I will admit it is on the edge for sure but to me this is not charging.

        • Dunno what orifice you’re pulling that nonsense out of, but this is how charging is defined in the rulebook: http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26331

          Charging is a when you have a violent hit that is largely the result of having traveled a distance (ie, charged in). It has nothing to do with whether or not you are still “striding” or something as arbitrary and stupid as whether your feet are beside each other.

          Maybe try understanding the game of hockey before making claims as if they’re fact when they are completely wrong. It may not be charging to you, but fortunately for player safety, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • Of course, that said, this was not a charge.

          • “Charging is a when you have a violent hit that is largely the result of having traveled a distance ”

            Yeah, that statement isn’t arbitrary at all. Define for me “a distance” please? By that definition everyone who is moving and hits someone “violently” is now charging. Almost all those moving hits could be considered “violent”.

            I guess things have changed and I am old school. I admit that. In my day the striding vs gliding was exactly what refs used to determine charging due to such a badly written rule.

            Anyways, I do understand your point in regards to the way the game is played in the last few years.

  7. Call me a wimp or worse, but this is the type of hit the NHL, NHLPA, IIHF and any other interested entity, should be trying to get out of the game. There is no reason Kronwall needs to throw that hit. Forget even that he, as usual, just happens to leave feet right before impact. For Kronwall, this is actually a pretty tame hit (nice of him to launch ass first instead of arm first). But he has a guy who’s head is down, and all Kronwall needs to do is play the body. The end result would be the same – the forward’s momentum is stopped (at best) or the skater is harmlessly separated from the puck. We need the hockey culture to recognize that there is a difference between finishing a check, and finishing a career.

    • All they’d need to do is decide to call it. The way NHL rule 42 is worded (and the text is the same in IIHF charging, btw), the definition of charging is pretty subjective:

      “Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner.”

    • you are wimp and worse. This is the kind of hit that defines hockey. Its presence in the game shall not be excluded. The fact that someone wants to skate FOWARD with their head down looking at the puck instead of where they are going should not result in a penalty when someone else gets in their way. Nor can you regulate the amount of force in a collision when two people facing each other collide. Sorry but ‘You hit him too hard’ is not sufficient reason to penalize.

  8. Personally, I’m wondering why a professional is taking it upon himself to try to kill an amateur in a 2-0 exhibition game. But that’s just me, I suppose.

    • Um…

      1. The guy being hit isn’t an amateur. Played two years for Dynamo Minsk of the KHL. now plays in Finland.

      2. This isn’t an exhibition game. The hit’s from the Worlds.

      But other than that, great post!

      • The KHL’s barely a pro-league by NHL standards. Apart from Jagr and Radulov (who once finished 40th or something in NHL scoring), its scoring leaders were outright bums in the NHL. If this Latvian can’t hack it in the KHL and has to play in finland, he’s not a pro by NHL standards, making him an amateur.

        And this is a preliminary game against a team Sweden couldn’t have lost to. It’s an exhibition.

        and Kronwall’s out there trying to end an amateur’s career.

        Other than that, great post!

        • do they play hockey for money??? then they are professionals.

          • I got money for winning my beer league last year, so I guess that makes me a professional. And I guess that would make it okay for Ryan Hollweg or some other gutless puke to run me in a charity game his squad is winning comfortably. This makes absolutely no sense, by the way.

            Back on Earth, there’s no reason to be trying to end an amateur’s career in an exhibition and there’s no way to come up with a reason for any NHL player to do so based on anything that happened in this game.

  9. Translation of the play by play:

    “There’s no elbow, no shoulder, no stick. Just a big back and…. butt”.

    He did kinda leap into the hit, other than that nothing wrong with the hit. Someone mentioned the charging rule and taking strides to the hit. In this case the strides he took was to get into position which isn’t what rule reference to.

    I wonder how Shanaban would have reacted.

  10. For the people who are calling for a penalty or to get rid of these kind of hits, I am not sure you are seeing what you think you are.

    PopsTwit says he left his feet just before impact, but thats not the case. It is the force of the impact that takes him off of his feet (and therefore loses balance and falls). Watch frame by frame, at the initial point of contact, his skates are on the ice.

    About the charging, the wording of the rules are especially vague, and im sure over half of all legal hits fall under the “takes a couple strides.” Its called skating towards your target to get into position. This was not an illegal hit.

    And lastly, to Larry Dallas. Its all part of being in a competitive sport. What good reason does he have to NOT take the hit?

    • Hmm…I see a guy at :30 seconds who who is exploding upwards off the ice (whicb seems like “jumping” to me). This is not a guy who is planning on staying on his feet. So honestly, whether he has his the entirety of his 2 skate blades on the ice at the exact moment of contact isnt the point. He’s leaping into the guy.

      You ask what reason he has to NOT throw the hit? Simple – he doesnt need to. All he needs to do is use the speed he’s generated to check the guy into the boards. At best, he stops the guys momentum completely and there’s a turnover, or at worst the guy panics and chips the puck out.

  11. If that’s taking it easy, I don’t even want to imagine what it feels like to have this guy really lay into someone. That’s some Jack Tatum level mayhem there.

  12. Everyone who hates this hit must not have watched the video….. from EVERY perspective it is a perfect hit.

    1. its a HUGE hit which people say doesn’t happen enough anymore.

    2. He doesn’t jump. (many hitters leave their feet after making contact but thats not where dangerous hits come from. dangerous hits come from jumping PRIOR to making contact.)

    3a. With this style of hitting the head will NEVER be the principal point of contact because the contact is made with his entire back and butt. The only way the head can be the principal point of contact in a hit like this is if the player being hit has his head stuck out in front of him like a giraffe.

    3b. Even if the player being hit manages to bash their head it would be against Kronwalls back and NOT his Armored shoulder pad.

    3c. The effect of being hit by someones back or butt is that the impact is spread out and not concentrated into one point like a shoulder or elbow or forearm.

    4. if the player about to be hit looks up and swerves at the last second there will never be a knee on knee incident when the D man knows hes beat and throws it out as a last ditch effort or some other form of interference/obstruction

    5. the risk – reward factor here makes for GREAT hockey. IF Kronwall misses he is now skating backwards in the wrong direction and the player he didn’t hit is now free and clear and totally uncatchable with should at the very least lead to an odd man rush and a scoring chance which is what the NHL wants more of.

    in summary

    1. No head shots
    2. No Concussions because of hard armored pads
    3. No Knee on Knees or other types of interference
    4. Great opportunity to get a quality scoring chance because of a missed hit

    Kronwalls hits are legendary and in my books they are the best all around hits in hockey today for EVERYONE involved including the person getting the number of the bus that hit him who’s head wasn’t the principal point of contact.

    • Good point. Kronwall never crosses that line and leaps or hits to the head. I guess the hits at Nos. 9…and 8…and 6…and 4…and 2… and 1….are all his brother, Rick Wonkrall.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk3qIjz5EDM&feature=related

      • If you want I can freeze frame the image and it shows that he leaves his feet AFTER contact has been made which is legal. You are allowed to explode THROUGH your hits, not INTO your hits. Saulietis momentum is what makes Kronwall bounce off this hit as if he was shot out of a cannon.

        Saulietis did the same as Voracek did when he was knocked out in the regular season. He only took a look with his head up before he grabbed the puck. Next time he looked up was when Kronwall was on him. Lesson to all you wingers out there, keep your head up at all times and on a swivel!!

        • I’ll circle his elbow in the guy’s teeth when you do.

          • lmao, if you watch the replay and judging by your comment you obviously did not, you would see that Kronwalls back (more or less between the shoulder blades) is what Saulietis head hits, not an elbow.

            I’m not even a Red Wings fan and I can look at this with unbiased opinion and tell you it was clean.

      • Not one of these hits is illegal. He does not jump into any of these players. Sure the force of the hits knock him into the air and his skates leave the ice. But it is only illegal if you jump into your opponent.

      • funny how none of those hits are the one this post is about which is the only one i commented on….crazy!

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