Laraque Takes Out Kronwall With Knee-on-Knee

Update (10:13 PM): Babcock just told Ken Daniels that Kronwall hasn’t been seen by the team doctors yet (must not have traveled with team). That would explain the lack of an official update during the game.

Daniels asked him if he thought it might be some months and Babcock didn’t know (only has trainers diagnosis), but was able to say “It ain’t pretty, I can tell you that.” Great. I think a sprain is out. We’re looking at another major, long-term injury.

He also characterized the Laraque play as “unacceptable.”

I’m not sure Kindl, Janik, Meech or another similar option’s going to cut it here. Give Chelios a look, Kenny. – Matt

Update (8:51 PM): George thinks it could just be a “couple weeks” sprain based on the fact that Nick could put some weight on it as he went off. I hope so. – Matt

Update (8:19 PM): Video:

Via Kukla. By the way, the Wings scored 2 goals on the power play fest that Laraque triggered. – Matt

Horrible news from Montreal: Nik Kronwall left the Wings/Habs game tonight with an apparent left knee injury.

He suffered the injury on a delayed penalty play involving George Laraque, who was already headed to the box for high-sticking Darren Helm. Laraque stuck his knee out and caught Kronwall’s left knee, tripping him up and taking another penalty.

Nik was helped to the lockerroom and will not return. No word yet on the severity of the injury, but it does not look good. He’ll received X-rays tonight. It’s not pessimistic to think it’s likely to be serious.

If that’s correct, we could see Jakub Kindl get the call-up. He’s still very green, but has improved and, while he’s not as ripe as the Wings like their prospects to be, he may be able to make due in the NHL. Doug Janik is another option. There’s also Derek Meech, obviously, but don’t count on an increased role for him.

But maybe it’s time for the Wings to reconsider their stance on outside help and their decision to part ways with Chris Chelios. Cheli could be signed out of the AHL at a middling rate and could be a definite help. With Andreas Lilja still out indefinitely, the possibility of bringing in a veteran rather than relying on an unproven young player seems to me to be the more attractive option.

All of this is assuming Kronwall’s out for a while, but given the nature of the play, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable assumption.

Laraque, by the way, should be suspended given his history. It wasn’t as egregious as a Marcment knee-on-knee, but it was reckless and dirty.

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  1. Justin says:

    By history, do you mean his multitude of fighting penalties?  That doesn't even suggest a history of violence because you need two to fight.  I do however believe he should be suspended for a knee on knee but don't bring in the fact that he's an avid fighter to somehow elevate the seriousness of the situation.

  2. Matt Saler says:

    No, actually, I meant suspension history. Apparently, it's <a href="; rel="nofollow">only been once, but that's still a history. I'm not referring to his fetish for scripted fights at all.

  3. John W. says:

    Doesn't matter that he's only been suspended once. He's a hired goon and everyone knows it.

  4. Keith says:

    I hope the league fines Laraque. He clearly was mad and tried to injure Kronwall. I have no idea why he would, I don't think he and Kronwall have a history, but he wanted knee to knee contact. Sometimes a guy dekes you and you instinctly stick out your knee as a last defense, but this wasn't that. Laraque should have been in the box for 9 minutes, 4 for the high stick and 5 for the knee.

    I really think the league needs to change high sticking and other major penalties. I think the blood rule is dumb. A stick to the eyes is more dangerous than a cut on the chin. I think a stick that hits the face directly should be an automatic 4 (face is chin up not neck area) and a stick that hits the helmet, neck, or deflects off another palyer's stick (from either team) should be a 2. This makes the call based off of intent and discipline not skin thickness.  My reason for only 2 minutes on a deflected stick is because the highsticking is clearly an accident and normally doesn't hit the player hard. My only gray area, and I'd like others to comment on it if they have an idea, is a high sticking that comes on a shot. Sometimes a player will highstick another when he 1. lifts his stick behind him to take a slap shot or 2. on the follow thru. The intent isn't there and when he highsticks a guy behind him he didn't know he was there and on the follow thru his focus is on the shot. However, these can really, really hurt the other player AND the player is responsible for his own stick all the time. On a deflection his control is marginalized but not on a shot.

    Besides highsticking, all of the 2 minute penalties should have a 5 minute option for a penalty that intends to injure the other guy. A slash that breaks a stick and a slash that intends to hurt a player's wrist should not both be 2 minutes. Some penalties are meant as a means to hurt an individual. Laraque's kneeing, the blindside hits (like the one on Hudler), the elbows to the face, and the Lemeiux hit from behind on Drapper should be automatic 5 minutes and 10/20 minute misconducts. Too often head hunters get a 2 minute penalty when they knock out another player. I'm not saying the penalty should automatically equal the injury, sometimes a legit hit keeps a guy down. I'm saying the league needs to hand out penalties on more than the result, the intent should matter.

  5. John W. says:

    "Sometimes a player will highstick another when he 1. lifts his stick behind him to take a slap shot or 2. on the follow thru."

    Yeah, those are tricky. Several years ago, when he was still with Ottawa I believe, Hossa all but blinded Bryan Berard on a follow through of a shot. Berard has returned to the NHL, but I believe only has tunnel vision in that eye.

  6. Keith says:

    I want to see Kindl. We know what Meech does (jump the rush decently,  cough the puck up too often especially in his own zone, and let forwards go outside and right around him) and it's Kindl's turn. Kindl at 6'2 and only 22/23 could be something special. He seems to play his best when he's forced to rely on his instincts and not over think the game. A long term call up could force him to get back to basics. I think its really important that young guys get an extended call up to see what the game is like before they're called up for good. This lets the young kids see what its like, let them see their strenghts and weaknesses, and re-excites them about playing in the NHL. Ericsson played much better his second time up because he got much faster skating backwards after getting beat twice in 1 game. He also started to learn how to do the Lidstrom puck swipe while the forward entered his zone. This made him a much better player when the team needed him in the playoffs. I'd love to see a new set of pairings that looks like this:

    Lidstrom – Ericsson

    Stuart – Lebda

    Rafalski – Kindl


    This does a couple of things. 1. You let Ericsson play against #1 O-lines, forcing him to step up his game and hopefully become the 4th best D on this team after Lidstrom, Stuart, & Kronwall. 2. Let Ericsson get more minutes and special teams play. 3. Let Rafalski rest more for the playoffs (he's been bad for 16 months and needs a demotion anyway). 4. Give Ericsson, Lebda, and Kindl a reliable partner 5. not force Lebda & Kindl to play as the 3rd pairing, forcing the top 2 pairs to play 80% of the game.


  7. Megan Saler says:

    For a change, I'd actually like to see Kindl called up. Last year, the idea of it would have made me throw up. But he's been much better this season with the Griffins. He's always had the offense, but now his defensive game is really starting to improve. His major problem is that other teams seam to hate him, for unknown reasons. Every home game this year, the other team seems to target him, and hit him harder and more often than anyone else. Maybe that's a good sign, though. He takes the hits really well, too, and stays on the puck. He's been fighting for the puck in the corners really well, and he's made some really good defensive plays with guys on a breakaway or 2-on-1.




    I'm gonna have to disagree with you on the pairings you suggest. I love Johnny, but there is no way he is ready or has earned first pairing minutes. Yes, it would be nice to see him get to play with Lids, but at this point, the most that's going to do is hurt Lidstrom's game, in my opinion. I also love Lebda, but he does not deserve a promotion either. I do agree that Johnny and Lebs do not belong together. Rafalski, for sure, does not deserve to be demoted all the way to the third pairing, especially given how well he and Lidstrom play together. He has not been horrible, though he has made a few bad plays. So has Lidstrom, though. Some nights, Raffi has been the only D-man to show up at all.

  8. Keith says:



    I think its important that each of the D pairings has 1 solid guy (Lidstrom, Rafalski & Stuart) and 1 young/bad guy (Ericsson, Kindl & Lebda). Since we have only 3 solid D now, I'm not thinking of them as line 1, 2, or 3. I was thinking of Rafalski being on the same line as Kindl but still getting the same playing time as line 1 & 2. The truth is if you split the 3 good vets up 1 of them is on the "3rd" line.

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