At 13:08 of the first period of Game 3 between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall(notes) unleashed one of the most devastating hits of the postseason on the Blackhawks' Martin Havlat(notes), who was helped to the locker room.
Kronwall received five minutes for "interference" and a game misconduct for this brutal check, which CBC Sports captured along with the aftermath:
Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters, which pointed to the video clip, had this take on Kronwall, whom he notes has a history of questionable hits:
"43.1 Charging - A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner."
There's no mention of length or height in terms of how a player a leaves his skate. Maybe its semantics arguing over what kind of penalty Kronwall got, but it was charging in our book. And he could've still been kicked out of the game at the official's discretion.
The bottom line is, Kronwall has gotten away with hits like this for far too long. It's about time he faces some discipline for it, even if it's only within this game tonight. Given how random the NHL's supplemental discipline is, we can't even speculate what Colin Campbell will do.
No kidding. So was it interference? Charging? If you want to label it interference ... sure, even if the puck was in Havlat's skates. Charging? Not so much. He left his feet on impact.