There are huge hockey hits (both clean and dirty), and then there is the carnage that Detroit's Niklas Kronwall brought to Jakub Voracek on Tuesday night.
In the middle of the second period, the Flyers' winger went for the puck by his own blue line when Kronwall came charging at him. The Red Wings enforcer delivered a vicious check and drove his shoulder into Voracek's face. Skating with his head down the entire time, Voracek was knocked flat on his back. Once down, he turned over onto his knees but did not get back to his feet until several minutes later. He eventually left the game and got stitches to close a cut in his mouth.
Kronwall did not receive a penalty for the hit and the NHL did not suspend him either (via TSN's Bob McKenzie). These decisions came as no surprise to Kronwell, who said after the game that he thought the hit was clean.
"I haven't seen the replay, but the way I felt about it at the time was he was coming up along the boards and I took a stride forward," he said.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock thought the hit was legal, too.
"No one wants anyone to get hurt. That's not the idea at all," Babcock said. "But Kronner is a competitive guy, and he's out there playing hard. I didn't think he did anything wrong."
Despite a penchant for delivering big hits, Kronwall has never been suspended.