Afternoon Time-Wasting/Open Thread: Last Word on Kronwall

So you've probably heard by now that Gustav Nyquist was called up from Grand Rapids to skate in Chris Conner's place in the lineup tomorrow. You probably also know that Kindl, Bertuzzi, and Howard are all confirmed out for tomorrow, but Babcock says they're close to returning.

No word yet on the goaltending plans for the weekend, but I would assume that Joey MacDonald would get the back-to-back starts if Howard isn't ready to go. It just doesn't seem as though the organization would throw Jordan Pearce out there behind a team struggling with injuries and consistency. Joey Mac can handle the two-day workload, especially since he last played on Tuesday.

Here's a kid that dances better than I do:

Finally, a follow-up thought on the whole Kronwall ordeal:

Whether you like it or not, the league ruled that this hit was legal. Despite that, there's a large number of rational hockey fans who accept this, but still feel that watching Voracek do the fencing maneuver after a clean hit is so unsettling that they'd still like a way to eliminate hits like that without eliminating the onus of a player to keep his head up or eliminating all hitting altogether.

I think this is more evidence that the league should continue taking a look at the shoulder pads. Kronwall wears pads made of space-age technology which absorbs and deflects massive amounts of force in order to protect him. The question would be whether Kronwall (or anybody else for that matter) would confidently engage in the same dangerous 30mph collisions without a padding overkill. For an answer, I'd also suggest you'd ask a jouster whether he'd still let guys aim a lance at him from horseback if he weren't wearing any armor.

In the end, I don't know if severely limiting shoulder pads (while keeping elbow and chest protection the same) would have an overall beneficial effect on the game, but I think I'd like to see a lower league experimenting with what that change would do to the game before I'd like to see all context removed from Rule 48. People would still be allowed to hit, but lesser protection for shoulders might make guys a little more careful.

It's a Thursday afternoon open thread. What say you?

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