Kronwall Debuts Innovative Skate Blade
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall made a little bit of hockey history in Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he played the game wearing the Marsblade ice holder on his skates, the first NHLer to do so.
With a hinge at the back to allow the skate blade to rocker up and down, the Marsblade ice holder enables a larger range of movement while distributing the pressure more effectively for a longer and more powerful stride. The rocker also enables more steel on the ice for optimized glide speed.
“Compared to the other ones, I feel like I’m on top of the ice more, especially in the turns,” Kronwall said. “It may not be visible for everyone else, I may still look slow. But I definitely notice a difference. That’s the only reason why I’m wearing them.”
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill has also noticed a difference in Kronwall’s skating.
“I think he’s skating great,” Blashill said. “I think he looks awesome. He’s done a good job in the last year of really, I think, getting his skating back in a good spot. I think he’s looked good through most of the year.
“At the end of the day, he’s really smart, real good poise with the puck and still an excellent passer. I think he was a No. 1 defenseman in this league for a good amount of time, probably overshadowed for most of his career, probably in my opinion didn’t get the credit he deserved at all. I think he’s still a real good player when he’s out there because of the fact that he’s real smart, moves the puck well and helps everybody around him be a better player.”
Kronwall drew back in because rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski missed the game with an upper-body injury.
“He’s probably out Saturday as well but I don’t know that for certain,” Blashill said.
Getting Some Pointers
Former Wings center Kris Draper spent some time at Thursday’s morning skate working the faceoff dot with rookie Christoffer Ehn.
“He was just giving me some pointers on face-offs, some tips and tricks of what I can do out there,” Ehn said. “Just trying to help. I talked to him a bunch of times. He’s played a lot of games in this league and he knows what he’s talking about so it’s good for me to get some input.
“I just keep working on it because it’s way more of a battle here than it was in Sweden, the face-offs, because you’re allowed to do so much more in Sweden. You’re just allowed to go for the puck here, you can’t kick, tie up, there’s so much more you can’t do.
“I’m just trying to take away as much as I can from him. Hopefully it will work out on the ice as well.”
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