Video: Chris Stewart Drives Kronwall into Boards; Could Face Suspension

By Alexander Monaghan

Just 11:14 into Tuesday nights tilt between the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, forward Chris Stewart would drive defenseman Niklas Kronwall into the boards. The hit, which was several feet away from the boards, came from behind and was therefore given the appropriate checking from behind major and game misconduct.

See for yourself, Kronwall had close to no way of protecting himself from becoming a human accordion.

Stewart could face further disciplinary action from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan even though Kronwall would later return to the ice. While the hit appears clear cut, Blues captain David Backes felt the punishment fit the crime. From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“Kronwall comes back,” Backes said. “(Stewart) has already been penalized for five (minutes) and missing the game … a five-minute power play against Detroit can be a death sentence. I don’t know. You look at the criteria put forth. (Stewart) has never been suspended before, never had a hearing before. Kronwall looks injured on the play, but he comes back. Is it an ugly hit? Yeah, it’s not pretty. But he’s a hard-nosed guy that has to play with that edge to be effective out there.”

We can certainly understand where Backes is coming from. Stewarts’ clean record could help him out when it comes to judgment day — Stewie holds 209 NHL games on his NHL resume. Then again, just because someone never committed a dirty play in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they are incapable of doing so.

As usual with questionable plays and suspensions we leave a vote to the user, who can help guide us through this much debated topic.