DETROIT - JUNE 12: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Niklas Kronwall won't be suspended for his hit on Charlie Coyle. This is the right decision. Kronwall's shoulder makes some contact with Coyle's head, but...
48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered.
We'll break that down after the jump:
"... where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact." The principal point of contact on Kronwall's hit was Coyle's shoulder. The principal point of your focus might be Coyle's head, but that's not where he took the brunt of Kronwall's shoulder.
At this point we don't have to go on because the hit has already been determined to be clean, but just for fun, let's move on.
"However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position..." Coyle had his head down just like Voracek did last year. Now I'm not going to sit here and say that guys who have their heads down deserve to get hurt, but if Coyle is looking up, Kronwall doesn't go after him.
It's the right call based on the rules. If you don't like it, follow the NFL.