Of course, the discussion today is the incredible Kronwall hit. Unfortunately, it’s not about how impressive it is, but rather, it’s whether Kronwall should be find himself the target of supplemental discipline.
After taking a long look at this hit, I have to say, there’s no way that this hit was anything but clean and I’ve gone frame by frame to take a look at it.
Check it out after the jump.
Here’s Kronwall lining up Voracek. Notice his body positioning. His shoulder is completely pointed towards Kronwall at the moment.
Kronwall has started his progression towards the hit. Voracek’s head is sort of down, but he should be able to see Kronwall coming. Note that Kronwall’s shoulder is still pointed towards Voracek’s shoulder.
Right before the hit. Note that Voracek’s shoulders have turned and he moved his head right into Kronwall’s path. He’s started to skate forward, with his head down, leading his body.
Here’s just as before contact is made. Notice how Voracek is leading with his head, essentially making it impossible for him to be hit without contact to his head.
The next frame is during the hit. Kronwall has turned to he hit him with the back of his shoulder rather than the more dangerous front. In addition, notice the full body contact made. There is no intent to hit the head, just to hit the body. Skate on the ice, elbows down, and full body contact.
Result of skating with your head down without a clue of who else is on the ice? Yardsale. And, by the way, this entire sequence happened in less than a second.
In summary, Kronwall was lined up for a hit to Voracek’s shoulder, when Voracek turned his head into Kronwall’s body at the last second. Voracek lead with his head down, ahead of his body, making it so the only contact that was possible was a hit to the head. Kronwall kept his arms and elbows down, skates on the ice and actually turned his shoulder away from Voracek’s head so that he actually hit the back of his shoulder.
In the end, at least in this blogger’s opinion, this was a textbook legal hit. If Kronwall can’t make this hit, then players with their head down would be essentially unhittable from the front, totally eliminating the need to keep your head up and giving the lazy players the advantage.
It would be a travesty to the game if this was suspendable.
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