I know, the game happens fast. The speed of the NHL product is what makes it so entertaining and riveting. It’s also what makes it dangerous, sometimes.
On a night when the Colorado Avalanche unbeaten streak ends at six games, another NHL player leaves the ice on a stretcher. That’s three in three weeks.
Cody McLeod will get the book for this one, if for no other reason than, it’s bad publicity for the National Hockey League. The Avs 4th liner will likely face league discipline for sending one of the NHL’s finest defencemen into stargaze mode.
I’ll admit, Niklas Kronwall turned last second, making the hit from behind almost unavoidable. Kronwall also ducked, as he tried to elude the hit, making McLeod’s headshot elbow impossible to rescind at the last second. Elbow was down, just happened to hit head.
Now that that’s out of the way. These guys like Cody McLeod are fighting for spots in the lineup – doing anything and everything to remain relevant – running around like madmen out to launch opponents into oblivion. The end result, NHL superstars leaving the ice on a stretcher, missing significant portions of action due to serious injury.
Here is the hit.
Kronwall was borderline Norris material last season. If the voters didn’t gawk at point totals he may have even won the award. After that hit, I’d be surprised if he plays again this calendar year.
Cody McLeod has done this before. Here.
He’s a depth guy. McLeod makes your team because he is intense, hard working, and competitive. I won’t call his character into question because he’s a heart and soul guy and these things happen. But, he really messed up with this hit, and his bank account is likely going to feel a pinch when Brendan Shanahan makes an example of him for being “the guy” who sent the 3rd NHL player off the ice on a stretcher in the first three weeks of the 2013-14 season.
McLeod’s bank account won’t be the only thing feeling it, however. Kronwall is probably going to spend the next month or more with a very painful 24 hour a day migraine.
Max Lapierre hasn’t even been sentenced yet, and then this.
Three stretchers in three weeks is bad for business. And they say Tomas Hertl is hurting the game.
As I write this, and Twitter does its informing, tweets emerge conveying that Kronwall is okay. He must have a hard head.
From Linus Hugosson of Pro Hockey Magazine
— Linus Hugosson (@linushugosson) October 18, 2013
This from John Shannon of Sportsnet.ca
Hearing that Niklas Kronwall, who is travelling with the Red Wings to Phoenix, suffered a minor concussion after hit by Cody McLeod.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) October 18, 2013
Kronwall suffered a minor concussion according to Shannon’s tweet. He bled from lacerations on his ear, as well. It’s puzzling that concussions can be labelled ‘minor’ considering they are often evaluated on an ongoing basis; never understood in the moment of occurrence. A concussion injury ends when a player is symptom free for a while. How, a few hours after the hit, can the term ‘mild’ be used to describe an ailment that is never truly understood immediately? Hopefully Kronwall is okay and this is not as bad as it sounds and looks.