Saturday, September 25, 2010

2010-2011 Player Profiles: Niklas Kronwall...

Hey, kids, guess what? Hockey's almost here. That means it's time for me to get back into this whole blogging thing that I've neglected during the off-season. Since I lack the creativity to come up with a new gimmick, I decided to continue the Player Profiles series I did last year leading up to the season. I'll be taking a look at a different player (almost) every day between now and when hockey starts. By my count, there are 13 days until the Wings open the regular season. Get excited. Today's subject:

Niklas Kronwall

2009-2010 Regular Season: 48 GP, 7-15-22, +/- 5, 32 PIM
2010 Playoffs: 12 GP, 0-5-5, +/-2, 12 PIM

Season Highlight: This is a lame choice, but I remember loving this empty-netter he scored on Steve Yzerman night, largely because of the reaction of the crowd as it seemed to inch its way toward the goal. And also because it occurred on Steve Yzerman night. Everything that happened that night is remembered fondly.
Season Lowlight: The dirty knee-on-knee hit he took from Laraque.

Kronwall was having a fantastic start to the season last year. Then, thanks to a dirty hit from Georges Laraque, he spent several weeks out with a knee injury. Even when he returned to the lineup, he continued to have issues with it and never seemed quite right. He had minor surgery during the off-season that hopefully fixed whatever issues he had.

Now that he's been bumped up to the top line to play with Lidstrom, Kronner has a lot to live up to. He looked good in camp and seemed to be skating well throughout the week. He looked like he was re-energized and feeling good. On the top pairing, he should be able to return to the offensive pace he showed prior to getting hurt last season. The biggest question with Kronwall is always his ability to stay healthy. I swear that man is made of glass. If he can keep from getting hurt, he should have a good year.

What he needs to do to make me smile: Stay healthy.

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