Kesler Gets Kronwalled

Isaac SmithAnalyst IDecember 22, 2011

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 21: Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks tries to tie up Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings along the side boards during the third period in NHL action on December 21, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Any Detroit Red Wings fan who has watched Niklas Kronwall play enough will tell you that the other team is always aware of when he is on the ice.

This is because of the massive open ice hits that Kronwall is capable of throwing.

Kronwall may not seem like the biggest guy in the world, and he's not at only 6'0" and 190 pounds.

But holy smokes can this guy lay the lumber on unsuspecting players. Kronwall has laid out star players like Dany Heatley, Ryane Clowe, Martin Havlat, and added another unsuspecting victim last night in the Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler.

If you missed the hit, you can see it below.

With the 16:50 to go in the third period and the Red Wings trailing 3-2, Kesler started bringing the puck out of his own zone.

Kesler does not look up until a couple of feet before Kronwall sent him sprawling to the ice with another one of his patented hits.

Kronwall received some lip treatment from the Canucks bench, and Kesler even tried to go after him on the play.

This post-whistle fray worked out in Detroit's favor, as Kesler ended up taking the only minor penalty on the play for roughing, much to the delight of Detroit Red Wings fans.

The big question for Kronwall is whether he will face any supplemental discipline from the league.

Kronwall was not assessed a penalty of any kind on the play, even though he slightly left his feet to make the hit.

This is not the first time Kronwall has made a questionable hit, but he would probably say that there was no other way to make the hit.

In my opinion, the only reason Kronwall would get any kind of supplemental discipline is because his feet slightly left the ice.

But assuming the Shanahan will come down hard on Kronwall for this hit is a bad assumption to make, as we have seen some other players throw some questionable hits not be fined or suspended.

Either way, role the highlight tape!