Wings didn’t expect NHL verdict on Kronwall … he’s suspended for Game 7 against Tampa Bay

DETROIT >> The worst case scenario has happened to the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings will be without defenseman Niklas Kronwall for Game 7, Wednesday night at Tampa Bay, after he was suspended for one game by the league for a hit he had on Nikita Kucherov in Game 6.

The league said Kronwall was suspended for “charging.”

“I thought it was a good hit,” Wings coach Mike Babcock prior to finding out what the league decided. “I thought it was, you know he (Kucherov) was leaning back, trying to get out of the way. Kronner’s foot was on the ice when he made contact, elbow tucked in on the side. It went
through him.

“If you go through the series, in Game 2 (Ryan) Callahan did the same to (Danny) DeKeyser. (Monday) night, was it in the second period or the first period, (Ondrej) Palat got (Luke) Glendening exactly the same way.”

Kronwall was not penalized for the hit, during which his elbow made contact with Kucherov’s head as the second period drew to a close. Kucherov, but was back for the start of the third period.

Kronwall is their top defenseman and logs the most ice time of any player and playing in all situations.

“I’ve seen it many times, a lot of slow-motion,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “I think when the contact is made his feet are on the ground. His follow through, I think, hit’s his head, but he has his arms down. His elbow is down when the contact is made, and just got to wait to see what the league thinks.

“He’s a real important for us,” Zetterberg continued. “He plays a lot of minutes, so we just got to wait and see.”

Rookie Alexey Marchenko or Jakub Kindl will be in the lineup.

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