TAMPA, Fla. - Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall disagrees with the NHL's decision to suspend him for Game 7 against Tampa Bay for charging Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
Kronwall knocked off Kucherov's helmet with the high hit late in the second period Monday night in Detroit in the Lightning's 5-2 victory in Game 6. No penalty was called and Kucherov took seven shifts in the third.
"I feel like it happened a little bit different than what they feel," Kronwall said after the Red Wings' morning skate in preparation for Wednesday night's Game 7. "I did something to put them in the situation to where they could make the final call. So, anyway you look at it, that's on me."
Kronwall said it's hard to describe his feelings about missing Game 7.
"I still don't really know how to feel to be honest with you," Kronwall said. "I still really haven't grasped it. The decision has been made, and I've got to live with it."
Detroit coach Mike Babcock had a measured response in expressing his disagreement with the suspension.
"If I talk about Game 7 I won't get fined," he said.
Kucherov said Wednesday he is fine. When asked about the suspension, Kucherov said "it was a league decision."
Babcock also confirmed that defenceman Marek Zidlicky will sit out Game 7 with an undisclosed injury.
Defencemen Jakub Kindl, who hasn't played in the series, and Alexey Marchenko, scratched the previous four games, will be in the lineup.