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Watch Niklas Kronwall Flatten Latvia’s Kaspars Saulietis at IIHF World Championships (Video)
We’ve already told you about the ones levelled against Kazakhstan’s Roman Starchenko and the USA’s Alex Goligoski. And today we’ve got another one to show you. This time it’s Latvia’s Kaspars Saulietis one the receiving end.
Latvia was facing Sweden yesterday in the last game of preliminary round. And not only had the Swedes secured their ticket round two, but their seed was already set. Being 3 points behind Russia and having already lost to them, and being 4 points ahead of the Czech Republic, there was no way Sweden would finish anything other than second in Group S.
But that didn’t mean they didn’t come out playing hard. Just ask the afore-mentioned Kaspars Saulietis. About midway through the second period, with Sweden up 2-0, Saulietis got the puck in his own zone and started to head up ice. Unfortunately, he didn’t see Swedish defenseman Niklas Kronwall (of the Detroit Red Wings) coming right for him.
Result? Saulietis gets absolutely crushed.
Now, if you watch the slow motion replay closely, you’ll see that Kronwall’s feet do leave the ice—but only after the hit. As the two make contact, Kronwall extends his legs, but his feet are firmly planted. And there isn’t any questionable elbow-to-head contact, since the Swede basically hits Saulietis with his backside.
Verdict? I say it’s a clean hit, albeit a nasty one.
What do you think?