The Detroit Red Wings will likely be forced to play without Filip Hronek for some time. He was placed in concussion protocol after leaving Wednesday night’s game early. The Red Wings defender got hit hard by Ryan Reaves, prompting the play to stop so he could get medical attention.
Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde had good things to say about the team’s defender, stating that Hronek wanted to return to the ice, but the Doctors would not let him. Understandably so, Hronek got leveled with a hit that got him in the head, so precaution was necessary.
Hronek has been the team’s best defenseman this season. Heck, we just ran a piece I wrote about his offense and ability to contribute to the team’s offense this season. The defense core is already thin; without Hronek, things will only get worse.
Even being optimistic, he may miss some time to ensure he has no symptoms and can get the all-clear to exit concussion protocol. The good news is that the Red Wings’ next game is not until Saturday, so he has some time to rest up.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek could miss some time.
While there is plenty to talk about with the hit on Hronek, let’s look at the clip a bit more and offer some thought as to what went wrong.
Simply put, he got laid out. Ryan Reaves enters the zone with some speed as Hronek is moving up ice. If you look at other angles of the hit, Hronek has his head looking behind him at the defender chasing him. By the time he turns his head, he is greeted with the elbow of Reaves.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Reaves follows through the hit and leaves 6-foot, 183-pound Hronek lying on the ice and bleeding. The more I look at it, Reaves appears to lead with the left shoulder, but that elbow seems to make contact with Hronek’s face, hence, the bleeding face from his visor being crushed into his nose.
As stated, no penalty was caused, which seems egregious. Red Wings fans are outraged, and it showed on Twitter. Rightfully so, there likely should be a hearing coming with NHL Player Safety about the hit, but here we are.
To be clear, Hronek should be responsible for knowing what’s going on. Some said, “he should have his head up,” in response to the backlash from Red Wings fans. He should have his head up; I agree with that. He possessed the puck and took his eyes off where he was going to check behind him.
It happens. Open ice hits happen. The fact it was open ice and that Hronek’s head wasn’t on a swivel is not the issue. The issue is Reaves targeting his head as he follows through. Make the argument that their size differential causes this… they are two inches apart in height.
Make that argument with Elmer Söderblom and Mats Zuccarello, not Reaves and Hronek. Even though Hronek weighs significantly less, Reaves is not towering over him with height, in my opinion. He gets the elbow up and takes out Hronek; that cannot happen.
I think Reaves deserves a suspension and that the Red Wings handled this poorly by not sticking up for their teammate. But here we are. Hronek is in concussion protocol, and the Red Wings could miss their best defenseman for some time if he is not cleared in time.