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Sharks' Heatley gets 'Kronwalled'

Thursday, 05.5.2011 / 12:39 AM ET / News
By Jeff Sanford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Sharks\' Heatley gets \'Kronwalled\'
DETROIT – Dany Heatley had some quiet time to himself during the first period of Wednesday night’s Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena.

Unfortunately, the San Jose forward probably couldn’t enjoy it with all that ringing in his ears, because at 11:34 in the first, Heatley discovered firsthand the definition of “Kronwalled.”

Nicklas Kronwall’s stadium-rocking hit on Heatley sent him into the Sharks’ designated “Quiet Room,” a league-mandated, lighting-controlled room where players who are suspected of suffering concussions are sent to recover and regain their composure. But no one likes to see a player seriously hurt. Fortunately, Heatley was cleared to play and headed back out on the ice before the end of the period.

“He’s fine,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Heatley. “He came back. It was a hell of a hit. It took a lot of courage to pick himself up and get off the ice. He came back and played admirably.”

Kronwall’s big hit could be construed as a bit of revenge for the Wings D-man. Late in the second period of Sunday’s game, Heatley knocked Kronwall off his feet in Detroit’s zone before Kronwall could see him coming. Kronwall didn’t look too shook up on the play, but it undoubtedly lingered in the defenseman’s memory.

And it’s hard to imagine that Kronwall wasn’t reminded of that very hit when he had Heatley in his crosshairs in Game 3.

The hit came as Heatley was chasing down a loose puck in the San Jose zone. He had his head down as he approached the puck. Kronwall raced past the blue line at full speed and connected with the unsuspecting Heatley, upending the Sharks forward and laying him out on the ice — an image that’s prime for ending up on a poster someday. Heatley stayed down for a few moments before getting up on his knees, thinking twice about skating away too soon. Play was stopped for the downed Heatley. 

The fans loved it, of course. But in an age where concussions are becoming a major issue at the forefront of the NHL, highlight-reel hits like these will be analyzed. Replays showed that there was no direct contact to the head. Rather, Kronwall hit Heatley around his shoulders, making clean contact. However, Kronwall did leave his feet to make the hit, which is illegal according to NHL rules. Despite McLellan calling it a “hell of a hit,” whether the league will take disciplinary action is yet to be seen.

Still, Kronwall’s hit was a major boost in a close Game 3 that nevertheless saw the Wings lose in overtime to go down 0-3 in the Western Conference semifinals series. Shaking up Heatley — who still managed to play over 20 minutes — was a definite blow to the Sharks, who seemed to be outmatched for most of the game.

“Obviously he’s a big piece of our team and he’s important for us,” Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. “He definitely fills the lines out when he’s in. There’s probably going to be injuries sometime throughout the playoffs. There’s going to be big hits, we understand that. We had a few, they had a few. But it was definitely good to see him come back.” 

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80