22 December 2011


Vancouver, British Columbia -- Add Ryan Kesler to the list of NHL players not happy with Red Wing Niklas Kronwall's open-ice hits.

Kronwall nailed Kesler in the third period of Wednesday's 4-2 Vancouver victory. Kesler then went after Kronwall, who didn't respond to Kesler's challenge of a fight. Kesler was called for roughing, and Kronwall was penalized for … nothing, adding fuel to the fire.

Kesler, a Livonia native, joined a list that includes Martin Havlat, Teemu Selanne and Ryane Clowe, among others, who've been angry with Kronwall's ways over the years.

Of the hit, Kesler said, "He was backing up and I put my head down for a second and he hits me. That's obviously his go-to move, always.

"I haven't seen it (the replay), but my only problem with the hit is that he doesn't stand up for himself afterward. If you're going to hit guys like that, you're going to have to drop the gloves."

Clean hit, bottom line. Kronwall only comes off his feet for a split second because Kesler crumbles like a complete bitch and Kronwall's entire body is forced to go over top of him. As for Kesler's response, Kronwall isn't going to fight you because Nik is a team-first player and knows he serves his squad better when he's on the ice. Kronwall is slowly becoming the anchor of our defense as Lidstrom passes the torch, so to speak. And how about Kesler's argument? "I put my head down for a second and he hits me." Ever since you're in peewee hockey you know to never, and I mean never, put your head down. If you do, expect to get your bell rung. Either he put his head down for literally one second after clearly seeing Kronwall literally hauling ass after him, or his head was down for more than just a second. After watching the video, I'll go with the former. Kesler knows what's coming, and there wasn't shit he could do about it but melt to the ice and let the second and third men in handle his dirty work.

Another thing I don't quite understand is how Kesler is talking about dropping the gloves. As soon as he gets up after getting laid out he is immediately back down on the ice and Kronwall is already picking up his bucket thinking to himself, 'just another day at the office'. You're not exactly the fighting type either, Ryan. Who's to say Nik doesn't leave you snoring after one haymaker? That's one shot, kid!


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