Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has earned a reputation around the National Hockey League for being a physical player who makes bone-crushing hits on his opponents. These kinds of hits have even been given a name — being "Kronwalled."
During Thursday night's game against the Colorado Avalanche, Kronwall was playing a puck in the corner when Avalanche left winger Cody McLeod hit Kronwall in the back between the numbers, forcing Kronwall into the boards violently. Kronwall was injured on the play and left the rink on a stretcher while McLeod was thrown out of the game. McLeod should also be facing supplementary discipline for the hit. While the hit was bad enough, it was the reaction from the Colorado Avalanche announcing team of Michael Haynes and Peter McNab that drew the ire of hockey fans throughout the continent:
Here's the quote:
I'll tell you what, when you talk about getting a little of your own medicine… Kronwall has made a living in this league with big hits and he just got crushed by Cody McLeod.
Yeah, Kronwall has a reputation for making big hits. Just because a guy does it, it doesn't mean you get to mock the guy as he's laid out on the ice injured. It's tasteless and completely uncalled for. I'm sure if the roles were reversed and it was a Colorado player who was injured Haynes and McNab would be calling Kronwall "gutless" and "dirty." Let's completely leave out the fact that McLeod caught Kronwall in the numbers. Since the guy who was injured plays a physical game he had this coming to him, am I right?
I know what you're thinking, "well Jeff, it was the Colorado feed and they're paid to be somewhat biased towards the Avalanche." Yes, you would be right. I fully understand that there will be a bit of homerism and pandering that goes on. There are varying degrees. The Rangers broadcast team does a somewhat decent job of keeping bias out of the game while the Penguins… well… Bob Errey and Paul Steigerwald are arguably the biggest homer announcers in the league. With that being said, there's zero excuse for saying that a guy deserved being hit like that because he plays the game in such a physical manner.
Some members of the media were irate about it as well and took to Twitter to voice their opinion, such as Sean Gentille of the Sporting News:
Someone show this to the Avs booth for a good laugh! pic.twitter.com/VAbagV5BxK
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) October 18, 2013
Haynes and McNab need to come out and make an apology for this. Kronwall has been officially diagnosed with a concussion and has no timetable for his return. We all wish him a speedy recovery and we hope he gets back out on the ice soon.