Niklas Kronwall left the ice on stretcher tonight at the Pepsi Center in Colorado. The Red Wings announced that he will not be returning to the game.
The injury resulted from a hit from behind by Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod. The play started with Kronwall playing the puck in the defensive zone, in the corner behind the Detroit net. McLeod went into the opposing zone with the intent of punishing Kronwall as he tried to maneuver close to the boards with the puck, but Kronwall turned to move out of the way and McLeod drove him head first into the boards from behind.
Kronwall left the ice on a stretcher, and it was announced later on in the first period that he suffered a concussion on the play. However, he has movement in all of his extremities and did not need to go to the hospital, which is very good news for the Red Wings, since he is an integral part of their Defense. To put things into perspective, who was out on the resulting powerplay? Jakub Kindl. Yes, that’s how badly the Red Wings need Kronwall.
McLeod was given a 5 minute major and game misconduct for boarding, but the repercussions may last beyond tonight. It remains to be seen how long Kronwall will be out, and McLeod may be getting a call from Brendan Shanahan soon.
Johan Franzen scored on the resulting powerplay.