Another Day, Another Ovechkin Incident
In case you hadn't heard, Alexander Ovechkin was thrown out of another game.
Surprised? I'm not.
Less than three and a half months since he was suspended for two games for a knee-on-knee hit on Tim Gleason, Ovechkin finds himself the talk of the league yet again, this time for checking Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell from behind (the video can be viewed on the right hand panel).
Twelve minutes into the first period, Campbell was skating back behind the Blackhawks net to pick up a loose puck. Skating behind him was Ovechkin, who pushed Campbell hard into the boards, face first, from behind.
As a result, neither Campbell or Ovechkin returned to the game. Campbell left with the help of a trainer, whereas Ovechkin was handed 5, 10 and a game misconduct. The Capitals managed to win the game in a 4-3 comeback victory without their star player and captain, but the incident has had people talking all over the web throughout the eveninng on Sunday.
No matter which way you look at it, Ovechkin hit a player hard from behind. Nothing about it was legal, and there is enough precedent to be able to suspend him. He is a repeat offender, the hit was dirty, and he was ejected from the game. What else do you guys need?
But if you can believe it, there's actually a movement online to keep Colin Campbell and NHL operations from doing anything about the hit. Scott Burnside on ESPN is calling for the latest Ovechkin incident to go unpunished. Burnside actually suggested that the penalty was too severe, which is mind boggling in itself.
Burnside says that while the hit was indeed a penalty, that it was not "reckless", and it was not "predatory or intended to injure".
What game is this guy watching? Has he ever seen any other questionable Ovechkin hit? This is a man that has a history of violent, dangerous, predatory, reckless hits, and he continues to prove that he hasn't learned a damn thing in his time in the league.
He pushed a player from behind, face first into the boards. What more is there to add into the discussion? This has nothing to do with the non-suspension on Matt Cooke earlier in the week, it doesn't even have anything to do specifically with Ovechkin's last suspension.
This is a dirty hit that took a player out of a game. It should be a suspension.
But unfortunately, the NHL doesn't seem to agree:
Also, he has been cleared for his last game misconduct for boarding because it was assessed more than 41 games ago.
Reading the above, any other words to explain my dismay on this apparently decision escape me. So I ask. As good a player as Ovechkin is and will continue to be, where's the sense in continuing to allow him to run free on players, hitting them and taking them out as he sees fit, and where do we draw the line?