Detroit's Kronwall and Dallas' Ott Are Not Friends

Less than a minute into the third period of last night's Detroit/Dallas tilt, Mike Ribeiro carried the puck over the Red Wing line on an average-looking rush. Henrik Zetterberg was trailing him, attempting to lift his stick. Apparently, Zetterberg was successful because Ribeiro lost the puck fifteen feet into the zone and in that moment, Niklas Kronwall made his presence known:

Clean, nicely-timed, shoulder to shoulder hit, right? One of hockey's appealing plays? Not to Steve Ott, who very much took exception and decided to show it with a vicious cross-check to Kronwall's back.Given the League's inability to deal out proper punishments, it shouldn't be surprising Ott was given just a minor penalty for what should have been an obvious intent-to-injure major.

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I'm not sure what it is about today's NHL that obgliates thugs on skates like Ott to exact violent revenge on players like Kronwall who just make a hit. The situation called for a face-wash at most, or maybe a returned favor if the opportunity presented itself. The cross-check was completely out of line and stank of bush league antics.

Kronwall's demonstrated a nice talent for stepping up into guys coming over the blueline. At the moment, he's one of the two biggest hitters on the team, being outdone by only Brad Stuart.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Ott and Kronwall have a run-in Monday night in the rematch. Ott was ornery the rest of the night, taking a charging penalty before the final horn, and Kronwall will likely have his radar pinging for #29 in black coming out of the Dallas zone.

Detroit's Kronwall and Dallas' Ott Are Not Friends originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Fri, 09 Jan 2009 20:34:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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