The Department of Player Safety has suspended Niklas Kronwall for Game Seven against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night for his charging forearm to the face of Nikita Kucherov.
DoPS head Stephane Quintal explained that the hit was different than Kronwall's usual big hits because he went airborne prior to contact, and drove his forearm squarely into Kucherov's face. In addition, Kronwall was not penalized for the play in-game, prompting supplemental discipline. The decision isn't without confusion in comparison to some of the hits Tom Wilson, Kris Russell, and Dustin Byfuglien, among others, laid out previously however. All that aside, Detroit is left to choose between rookie Alexey Marchenko and young veteran Jakub Kindl who have 20 games and five points (all by Kindl) of playoff experience between them. Should this be the end of the line for Kronwall and the Red Wings, he will have finished the playoffs with two points, four PIMs, seven blocks, and 10 hits over five games.