Niklas Kronwall’s effectiveness might have waned in recent years, but he still knows how to deliver a punishing open-ice hit.
During the Detroit Red Wings’ game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, Kronwall delivered a massive hit to an unsuspecting Rudolfs Balcer. The Wings’ defenseman caught Balcer with his head down and hit him so hard that the rookie left winger’s glove went flying off into the air.
The hit appeared to be clean, but Senators right winger Mark Stone wasn’t a fan, going after Kronwall before getting matching minor penalties for roughing with Detroit left winger Justin Abdelkader. Balcers seemed to be winded from the hit but did stay in the game.
Kronwall has been known to throw punishing hits since entering the league back in 2003-04. You’d think Balcers would’ve received the message to not skate near the puck with his head down and Kronwall in the vicinity. You can bet he’ll keep his head up the next time he jumps on the ice with the 38-year-old. Otherwise, he’s going to get walloped again.