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Was it interference? Kronwall doesn't think so

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Niklas Kronwall needed some assistance to get to the Wings' bench

following the overtime hit by Mikko Koivu (Photo by Dave Reginek)
Niklas Kronwall was woozy after the hit that he took from Minnesota centerMikko Koivu in the Red Wings’ 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday. But following Wednesday afternoon’s practice at Joe Louis Arena, the Wings’ defenseman declared that he was fine.

“I got a little ding right off of the hit for the first five or seven seconds or so,” said Kronwall, who underwent a concussion test after the game, as well as another one Wednesday morning. “Felt fine as soon as I got off of the ice. You never know with incidents like that.”

The hit initially left Kronwall stunned on the ice. He tried to get up immediately, but dropped to one knee before gathering his senses and eventually skating off after Koivu setup Devon Setoguchi’s game-winner.

The hit occurred after Koivu followed up his own rebound, which deflected into the right corner off of goalie Jimmy Howard. Upon retrieving his own rebound in the lower right circle, Koivu turned his back to Kronwall and took a hard step backward.

It appeared that Koivu’s right shoulder connected with Kronwall’s face, sending the Wings’ 6-foot defenseman hard to the ice. Replay shows Kronwall’s head snapping backwards and the back of his helmet striking the ice.

There was some question whether or not Koivu should have received an interference penalty for what essentially was a body check on a defensive player not in possession of the puck.

But Kronwall took responsibility for the play breaking down in the Wings’ end.

“It was a good play on his part,” Kronwall said. “He caught me off guard. It ended up costing us the game, so obviously I have to be a little bit more aware out there.”

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