I watched this game at about 4am, but hours before I was near a television I had seen this hit:
Now Kronwall certainly has a reputation for this kind of thing, and I think that has a lot to do with the penalty that was called. Notice one of the late replays that shows the entire ice: no one had their hand up to call a penalty initially. It wasn’t until Havlat didn’t get up and the scrum was sorted out that a major penalty appeared.
Now that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not a penalty. It’s charging for sure, and at the very least a two minute penalty. However, there are a lot of gray areas here. For example, I think Havlat is putting the puck between his legs on purpose. He doesn’t establish possession, but he turns his body in order to make a play on the puck.
In most cases, a player in Havlat’s position has possession and gets hit clean. There’s no puck between the legs for most people, and that meas established puck control and a head up. That didn’t happen this time.
No matter what, I think it’s tough to say Kronwall’s hit was dirty. It happened so fast that it was impossible for the defenseman to change his flight pattern based on Havlat’s decision not to touch the puck. A penalty is a penalty, but interference? Maybe.
Some other things on the game:
– The overtime winner was off a great pass across to the open wing. However, when I watched the game on DVR I noticed that Chicago did the exact same thing on the five minute power play after the Kronwall hit.
However, it didn’t work, and not because of Kirk Maltby as the Versus announcers led you to believe. I slowed it down: Versteeg completely missed. I have no idea how, but no one touched that puck until it came down from the netting. Crazy.
Still, it’s interesting to notice that it’s a set play they have designed there. How many times do you see teams just throw that puck into the goaltender again? It’s a bit unorthodox to some, but that was the difference last night.
– Is it just me or is there an extraordinary amount of five minute power plays in Chicago that get killed off these days?
– Despite the lack of point production, I think Datsyuk not playing was a big deal. I don’t think that’s any secret, but it’s important to note heading into Game Four.
– Some guy in the crowd last night had a Versus hat. Where do you get a Versus hat from? Do they go to state fairs and set up a booth like radio stations or something? Do you own a Versus hat? Are you holding out on me?