Handshake-gate:

Puck Daddy

Niklas Kronwall demolishes Charlie Coyle on hit; was it a head shot or high stick? (Video)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

In many ways, this hit on Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild is vintage Niklas Kronwall. It’s also not high-sticking, but we’ll get to that in a moment:

Kronwall was given a double-minor for high-sticking 30 seconds into the second period of the Detroit Red Wings’ game against the Wild, after he carried his stick high on a brutal check on Coyle.

But watching the replay, it’s yet another blown head-shot call by the officials. Instead of the usual “phantom” head shots we’ve seen this season, it’s an uncalled shoulder to the head of Coyle, as Kronwall's stick hardly made contact with him.

There’s no question the rookie was skating with his head down. But there’s also no question that Kronwall launched himself into a high on Coyle that one could argue targeted the head.

Thing is, the high-sticking double minor – on which the Wild scored their second goal of the game – probably benefitted Minnesota more than had the play been an illegal check to the head.

That’s a minor penalty if there’s no injury, which there didn’t appear to be for Coyle. Instead, Kronwall gave Minnesota four minutes of power-play time.

View Comments (65)
  • Canucks President Trevor Linden's Stanley Cup doubts put to rest

    Trevor Linden had doubts the Vancouver Canucks would make the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs when he first took over as the team's president, but says those doubts were quickly put to rest. "I think the key was hiring [Canucks General Manager] Jim … More »

    CBC - 45 minutes ago
  • Wild-Blues Preview

    The popular excuse for the St. Louis Blues after a defeat in Game 1 centered around a four-day layoff that may have caused them to lose a step following the season finale. The Minnesota Wild, who were the Blues' opponent in that finale, didn't seem … More »

    AP - Sports - 49 minutes ago
  • Canucks beat Flames 4-1 to even series

    Canucks beat Flames 4-1 to even series

    Tempers flared and fists flew - and the tone might have been set for the rest of the first-round playoff series between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. Eddie Lack made 22 saves and the Canucks defeated the Flames 4-1 on Friday night to … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 17 minutes ago
  • 'Tough night' in store as Jets' IceCaps play final game in St. John's

    'Tough night' in store as Jets' IceCaps play final game in St. John's

    Saturday night will see the final game played in St. John's for the Winnipeg Jets farm team, as the roster gets ready to make the move to Winnipeg. The IceCaps team name will remain in St. John's, but with a new team — the Montreal Canadiens' farm … More »

    CBC - 3 hours ago
  • NHL Draft Lottery: Which teams should we hope don't win it?

    NHL Draft Lottery: Which teams should we hope don't win it?

    But which teams deserve to earn the first overall pick, and which ones should we pray don’t win the right to draft McDavid? … More »

    Puck Daddy - 3 hours ago