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After Ovechkin gets tossed, Caps battle back


(Nam Y. Huh/AP)


Morning roundup


Some Monday-morning linkage:

*Caps 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT): "Thanks to another controversial hit by two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin, however, Nicklas Backstrom's end-to-end rush in the extra session wasn't the focus after the league-leading Capitals humbled the league's third-ranked team before a national television audience and a disgusted capacity crowd at United Center."

*Video: Ovechkin and Coach Bruce Boudreau discuss the winger's ejection from the game.

*Mike Milbury's defense of Ovechkin? (Bog)

*Game highlights:

*The Blackhawks aren't buying Ovechkin's explanation of the hit on Brian Campbell. (Chicago Tribune)

*Campbell will miss Chicago's three-game road trip, and perhaps a lot more than that. (ESPN)

*Cheap shot? Blackhawks say yes. (Daily Herald)

*Recaps/reaction from the D.C. crew: Examiner, Ed Frankovic, Storming the Crease, Alex Ovetjkin, On Frozen Blog, Rock the Red, Peerless, RMNB, Japers' Rink, FFODC, DC Pro Sports Report, DC Landing Strip, Hockey Mom, AOL FanHouse.

*Call Cooke dirty if you must, but then include Ovechkin in the same breath. (Kukla's Korner)

*Scott Burnside: Ovechkin shouldn't be suspended for the latest hit. (ESPN)

*Why Ovechkin won't receive an automatic suspension. (Puck Daddy)

*One play, two points of view. (Peerless)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 15, 2010; 5:35 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alex Ovechkin on getting ejected vs. Chicago
Next: NHL's boarding rules: What's going on here?

Comments

Ovi shouldn't be suspended. It was a poor moment for him, but it wasn't malicious it was more in desperation to get the puck i think. Campbell was unlucky to fall so badly, but it wasn't that bad from ovechkin. I don't think it should have been a game misconduct, but definitely not a suspension.

Posted by: colonelbagpuss | March 15, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

I finally read the Toews quote that some of you were eluding to yesterday. Toews needs to get off his high horse. I notice he didn't mention the cross-check delivered by Big Buff AFTER Backstrom scored the winning goal. Nor did he mention the hit delivered by Brouwer to the back of Semin. The hit at the 8:44 mark of the 3rd period is delivered with intent to injure and total disregard of Semin's health. Luckily Semin was able to get up without injury. I am tired of players that are surrounded by team mates whose specialty is to "send a message" come out and trash a player like Ovechkin. The Capitals are the ONLY team in the league that does not have an official goon on their team. I suspect Ovechkin will receive a suspension since Campbell is injured.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

That deserved 2 minutes tops, not sure what for exactally, but that is still a stretch. The "push" wasn't from behind, it was from the side and it didn't involve much force at all. It was just a series of unfortunate events, Ovechkin has quite a bit of force and for Campbell to say he didn't expect to be hit while chasing down a puck would be a lie.

Point is there would have been no penalty if Campbell had not been hurt and got right up...not to mention that it was on NBC and the whole head shot/GM talks just occured. I hate to see what this league is turning into, pretty soon there will be no hitting and it will become flag hockey and that is a disgrace!

But either way...GREAT GAME CAPS!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 15, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Like a lot of people, I agree that hit did not deserve a game misconduct.

However, who cares if the league suspends Ovie for 1-5 games? He needs the rest. Keep your eyes on the prize...the Stanley Cup!

We are WAY out in front of Pittsburgh and the league. So relax, let's win a few games without him...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 15, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Toews -- the most talented team in hockey is the Caps and they just showed that. What a chump! I think every team should tape that quote to their quote board. And yeah the hit on Semin from behind that drew blood and no call, there's consistency for you.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 15, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Having read a lot of comments attached to the multiple articles calling for Ovi's head, I say go for it. Just so people get off of Ovi I would rather see him get a suspension and have the Caps reel off wins while he sits. That way these boneheads can't keep saying that Ovi get preferential treatment. He's already been suspended once so he doesn't get away with anything. Hopefully his Mom is still in town and he can hang out with her a few days and get some home cooking. It's almost like the league would love to see him run out to the KHL.

BTW, Backy, even though he is 4th in the league in scoring and ahead of both Kane and Toews, wasn't really getting much love yesterday during the game. That kid, and other Caps too, but Nicky in particular really stepped up when Ovi was ejected.

I LOVE THIS TEAM!!! LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

they just dont like it when a Russian plays "North American Hockey"..

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 15, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Don't get on Toews. If this were the other way around, these comments would be completely flipped. Toews is just standing up for a teammate, like he should. I would expect our guys to do the same.

This shouldn't even be what we are talking about. Instead, we should be cheering Backy for stepping up and having an incredible 3rd period and overtime. Because of all this talk about the hit, people who didn't watch the game probably don't even know about Backy's performance. Unfortunately, Backy will always have a shadow over him, no matter the circumstances.

Posted by: JD09 | March 15, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Since Lindsay doesn't include my links for some reason, I'll just post it here.

My latest blog post, "ATTN NHL: Nicklas Backstrom Is A Superstar. Treat Him Like One."
http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/attn-nhl-nicklas-backstrom-is-superstar.html

Posted by: washingtoncapsblog | March 15, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I think we all need to get resigned to the fact that Ovie is going to be suspended. Deserved or not, he has a reputation around the league, and that will carry weight.

Yes - I know Matt Cooke has the same reputation. I can't explain that non-suspension.

I think we roll with the suspension and focus on the playoffs. Expect the worst, and hope for the best.

Posted by: STLSpidey | March 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Toews and Canadian fans in general want to call out Ovi because he doesn't respect his fellow player. Claiming that in the old days there was more respect. Yeah, tell that to Howe's opponents, and in less distant hockey history, Messier. They are both considered a couple of the dirtest superstars to ever play the game. They are both famous for their elbows in the corners that were like knock out punches to the chin. They were also called out by opponents for spears and punches behind the play. I'm disgusted by Canadian fans that try to act like Ovi is the most aggressive superstar to play the game. Another somewhat superstar that throws his body around and ticks off goaltenders because of his disregard for goaltender is Rick Nash. Of course Howe, Messier and Nash are all Canadians so they're good to go.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

What I don't get is that Campbell broke his collar bone..hence he did not go into the boards head first. I feel bad for the guy, but the hit simply was not that bad.

And I def. did not think the hit was late.

Posted by: capscoach | March 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

After re-watching the game I counted 4 similar checks to Ovechkins throughout the game including one that sent Semin hard feet first into the boards. No penalties on any of those... Hockey 101 you go towards the boards you better be ready for a hit. Especially when the opposition has their number 1 hitter on the ice. Of course that wasn't even a hit it was a shove.

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

per tsn.ca (via xm) there isn't expected to be any suspension for Ovi according to league sources. Of course they may change their mind not that Cambell is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 15, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Another hit was when Big Buff continued pushing and railroaded Backstrom into the boards in the 2nd period even after Backstrom completely lost control of the puck. It was on the half boards, not behind the net. Buff rode him the last 5-10 feet even though Backstrom no longer had the puck.

Again, suspend Ovi to shut the Hawks, the Canadian public, and any other person that says Ovi gets away with stuff up. I'm tired of hearing it and would rather not have that lingering when the playoffs arrive. If they suspend him now it won't be talked about as much. I just hope he is back for the Pens vs Caps game on the 24th. Don't get me wrong I don't agree with a suspension I am just willing to accept one if it will get people off of Ovi's back.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

sorry should say "now that Cambell is exepected...."

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I might add that Campbell knew he was there since Ovi tapped his left leg with his stick as he was attempting to get the puck.

Yes, Nicky was wonderful in that game. He deserves first star for the week IMO. I loved how the team stepped up and played hard. There is a lot of skill on our team after Ovi--I think that's what I don't like about what Toews said. The rest of his statement--meh. He's a Hawk. What's he going to say!

I also scratched my head over some of the Chicago paper recaps where they were describing the Caps as a hard-hitting, highly physical team in the manner of their Captain. They certainly played physical in the 2nd period and perhaps wore the Hawks out a bit but I think the Hawks also came in for some hard hits on the Caps. If these two teams do meet for the SC then I wager it will be a pretty intense series--nasty even.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 15, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

NHL reports that Campbell is out for season. There is no way they will let OV off the hook. I think it all comes down to the fact that the Caps need to win the Cup to get any respect around the league. The presidents trophy won't be enough. That's the only justification I can see for Matt Cooke was that he was on a team that is heavily respected.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think the play deserved a penalty. However, I don't think it necessarily warranted a 5 minute boarding major. A 2 min penalty for interference or boarding was definitely deserved though.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 15, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@STLSpidey

That's what I was saying all along yesterday. Ovi is probably suspended.

Sad to say, since a hit that would be normal for another guy, results in injury since he is bigger and stronger. So, this year, he's done it three times, this being the worst injury. (Last year, it was twice, counting playoffs but no suspension). But now any such hit will be a suspension and if we have the same number of injurious hits and an average of 3 games lost to suspension.

Could GMGM lure Nicky back to the Caps by promising him the "C" for his jersey? No, Nicky is not the person I would normally recommend for Captain. I would make Brooks Laich Captain before I would make Backstrom. And, that being said, I would not take the Captaincy away from Ovi, unless he gets suspended twice next year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Nicklas Backstrom is a f'ing stud......nuff said!

Posted by: PhilR | March 15, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I reject the notion that Caps should just "accept" a suspension for Ovi for that hit, and also the notion that he needs the rest. Caps need home ice advantage, and they need to continue to play like a team and refine their game for the rest of the season. Ovi is a huge part of the team and team captain to boot.

Backstrom is simply amazing. Keep in mind that it's still a TEAM sport, though.

It will be a joke if Ovi gets the suspension. Listen, if Mike Milbury didn't think it was a bad hit, that's gotta tell you something!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 15, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Recommeded Lines (and yes, we assume no Ovi)

Chimmer/Backstrom/Knuble
Flash/Belanger/Fehr
Laich/BMo/Semin
Bradley/Stecks/Gordon (unless we play Walker instead)

Fehr should be promoted to the second line (and he's good with Flash who can handle Top 6 minutes sans Ovi)

Chimmer looked good yesterday.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 15, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

well what else could they do but to just accept whatever suspension they might hand out... is there an appeal process that I'm not aware of?

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1 You are right. Ovie doesn't need the rest. No dispute there. And - I certainly don't think Boudreau or GMGM will accept the suspension in their discussions with Campbell and the league. My gut tells me he's going to be suspended, for at least a game or two, and I'm prepared to "accept" that in the bigger scheme of things.

Posted by: STLSpidey | March 15, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna go against the grain and remove my partisan hat.
I love Ovie as much as anyone but it was a late and dirty hit, plain and simple. If you look at the replay, he could see Campbell's number as far as the top of the circle and never looked at the puck. Ovie sensed that Campbell wasn't looking and was lining him up for a big hit. Because he made contact so far from the boards, all he could do was push Campbell into the boards. It is a very dangerous hit with consequences that could be easily foretold.
I am not sure about suspension as the NHL is a joke in terms of consistently handing down punishment. All I know is that it's a matter of time before Ovie gets laid out.
I do hope he gets a few games; he couold get some rest and be ready for the play-offs.

Posted by: atybat | March 15, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Capsfan75...you are right... Chimmer did look good.

I picked him to participate on the game winner...he and Backs have some good chemistry..

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 15, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

OV will, and should be suspended. He needs to take some time and get his head on straight. The hit was pointless. Did he mean to hurt him, no. As soon as he did it, he knew how badly he messed up.

2010 OV Recap:
Olympic Medal - No
Richard Trophy - Probably cost himself that
Art Ross Trophy - See Above
Hart Trophy - See Above
Pearson Trophy - See Above

Unless this guy wins the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup, he throws up a big Goose Egg. The pointless hit cost him a shot at every major award. Lucky for us, those are the ones we want.

Take some time off. Go back to Russia for a week. Do whatever you need to do. Just come back knowing that you can make everyone forget. we are in a position to win the President's trophy without you for a few games.

Posted by: barney56 | March 15, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

atybat: Players have been trying to lay Ovi out since his first game in the league. He didn't deliver a big hit and Campbell should have been able to withstand the push. I certainly hope Campbell wasn't trying to sell something to the point that he ended up getting injured. You and others are acting like Ovi took this guy, picked him up, and threw him into the boards. Come on, this is friggin' hockey and Buff's hit when he basically took Backstrom and drove him into the boards long after he was separated from the puck was much more violent, and with intent to injure. I know you are a Caps fan but I disagree with your assessment on this one.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@ atybat

gotta strongly dissagree! I was fine with the gleason suspension, but this hit just would not have been a big deal had it been another player. He is injured ONLY b/c he toe picked and I don't think the hit was late. Campbell is small and he unfortunately paid for it. Hits like that happen in every game and almost never get called unless the guy goes down...this was a series of unfortunate events.

Posted by: capscoach | March 15, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I have a buddy who is a Blackhawk fan, and he really had no issue with the hit...he said..."Thats hockey," too bad he's hurt, but it was a tough hit...maybe a penalty...not intent to injure...no way...

Thats coming from Chicago folks...

Posted by: SA-Town | March 15, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

barney: Why does this penalty cost him the Hart? He's first in scoring, first in +/-, second in goals and he plays for the team with the most points in hockey.

Those sound like MVP numbers to me.

Posted by: McBride33 | March 15, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

It's unfortunate Campbell didn't have his balance and went hard into the boards, but with the intensity and speed of hockey how is one supposed to stop and look to see if someone has their balance? It was a hit gone wrong.

Posted by: AndyDOpitz | March 15, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@atybat

I agree that it was an unnecessary push--more risk than reward on Ovi's part so a boneheaded decision by him. He does have to pick his moments better, which I actually think he has for the past two months.

But the push was on the back of the shoulder and to the left of the lower back, started as a forearm then hands. Moreover, B. Campbell does know he is there as Ovi hits at his left leg with his stick with what I interpreted as a "not sure if the puck was still there" back check or to just slow him down. And Campbell had just stared to circle left behind the net.

Had Campbell not lost his balance as Ovi pushed him (kinda appears that he tripped but hard to tell) then no one would be talking about the incident today. And there were several more boarding incidents of Hawks on Caps (the Semin one comes to mind but I don't remember the Hawk player) that didn't get called. Because Campbell stayed down and was hurt that's why the refs reacted. The head was not involved. It was unfortunate and I hope Campbell is okay but this kind of pushing happens a lot but Ovi gets the attention for it.

We will just have to wait and see but I can't see getting all worked up over it. Why some boarding calls are made and some are not, who knows. Seems to be whether someone is hurt or not. But I'm quite sure that there is a lot of discussion going on behind the scenes and much video getting replayed. We will find out in time for the next game. The odds for suspension are 50/50. Who can tell.

The Captain will stay the Captain as he should. And Mean Lars will be joined at his hip with Knoobs making friendly with the opponents goalie for a tap in.

The Caps made a statement in that game--never count us out even when we take our time to regroup after our Captain and the best player in the league is thrown out. We will win!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

barney: Why does this penalty cost him the Hart? He's first in scoring, first in +/-, second in goals and he plays for the team with the most points in hockey.

Those sound like MVP numbers to me.

Posted by: McBride33

Because of the suspension he will get. If Lapierre got 4 games, OV will probably get at least that. If he is suspended for 4 games, he will be passed by in a lot of categories.

Posted by: barney56 | March 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75, that's an interesting take, but Chimera will not be on the top line, and I see no reason for BB not to keep the second line intact. I think it's more likely to look like this:

Flash/Backstrom/Knuble
Laich/Belanger/Semin
Chimera/BMO/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Walker

Posted by: Sonyask | March 15, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Ok...NHL.com is not officially reportig campbell is out for the season...please note the question mark. Chicago is calling it an uppe body injury and collarbones can heal fast.

I am just so frustrated that people are actually calling this hit dirty...just b/c someone got hurt! He toe picked into the boards...it sucks but it happens. 2 min minor was deserved but people need to chill.

the GM should be rescinded.

Posted by: capscoach | March 15, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

There are some hilarious articles/comments being written following "the hit", but enough is enough. NHL do what you are going to do to Ovie and lets move on.

I am all about the GAME, I can live without all these other distractions.

How about that Swede the Caps drafted a couple of years back? That guy stepped up when his team needed him yesterday, and he continues to earn himself a handsome new contract. GO BACKS!

I really liked what I saw from Chimmer yesterday. That guy was blazing down the wing, and his speed made a difference! I would like to see a lot more of that. GO CHIMMER!

Who on this team makes more of their ice time than E.Fehr? Sure would like to see him get more ice time. GO WTF!?!

Honorable mention to Stecks who made plays down the stretch.

This is my longest post since 1988. IM OUT!

GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 15, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Suspend this bum! If you dress like a thug! talk like a thug and play like a thug...you must be one!!! 10 games NO LESS.
Cambell is done for the year on OV,s 4th offence this year ...dah!!!!! WAKE UP CAPS FANS

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 15, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Ovie's hit was careless. I don't think there was anything malicious in Ovie's hit/push, but Ovie made a dumb play that put himself in a bad position. He needs to be more careful. It was a dangerous hit and, like it or not, he has a bit of a reputation. I don't think it warrants suspension. I don't think he was trying to injure Campbell and it looked like Campbell toe picked a little bit or caught a rut. Its unfortunate that Campbell got hurt, and its unfortunate that Ovie finds himself in this position again.

Posted by: griz0615 | March 15, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

'nuff said about Ovi and the hit. I want to talk about the team. I hate to rain on everybody's parade, but... GMGM did nothing to improve this team's defense, other than gaining Belanger (which so far, and I know it's early, has had marginal impact). GM said that Corvo was the number one guy they targeted. Really? Then he has less of a clue than I thought. What does EVERYBODY know the Caps need to improve? Now, in your list of top 50 defense d-men, does Corvo appear? No, I thought not. He has been no better than Pothier so far. I'm willing to give him time to adjust to BB's system, but let's be honest: neither Corvo nor BB's system have even been known for defense. We still go entire shifts without a clue how to clear the zone, and only Theo has saved the day (I don't trust Varly anymore, and the league seems to have abook on him: shoot high). And despite what Steinberg says in the Bog, the team DID look lost for 30 minutes after Ovi's ejection. Not to take anything away from the great comeback, but it took quite a while for that vaunted 'character' to appear.
's season ois lost)

Posted by: wotansdad | March 15, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

Pretty much ditto!

I chose to re-watch Nicky's glorious goal from his initial turnover to his puck retrieving backcheck to his pass to himself off the boards then his race back up to the offensive zone where he deftly outmaneuver their two top d-guys (Team Canada and all that) and shoot the puck through the goalie's five hole into the net! The whole sequence is a thing of beauty.

GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 15, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

SC1907: Long time no see. Ovechkin doesn't talk like a thug, he has a Russian accent and is trying to learn English. He doesn't dress like a thug, he wears a European type suit to every game. If playing like a thug means leading the league in scoring, he can keep playing like a thug. Done feeding the troll.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

joek443 wrote: "well what else could they do but to just accept whatever suspension they might hand out...is there an appeal process that I'm not aware of?"

I didn't intend to imply that there is an appeal process for suspensions. I have no idea if there is a process.

My comment was more of a reaction to posts saying that Caps fans and Caps should just have to "accept" (in my opinion, that means "not argue with") a suspension in order to shut up Caps critics about Ovi's aggessiveness. To me, that is not a good reason to "accept" a suspension.

Of course, if there is a suspension, life goes on and everyone learns to deal with it.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 15, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ wotansdad

shoot hight huh, you can say that about just about every goalie in the NHL... thanks for the insight

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

shoot high I meant

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

When should we expect word from the NHL on whether Ovie gets suspended or not? Sometime before tomorrow's game, right?

Posted by: griz0615 | March 15, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach: Agreed. The fall was much more damaging than the hit. It's not like Ovechkin was full stride driving into Campbell's back, more like he was gliding into a shove. What caught Campbell unaware was that he'd already dished the puck and wasn't ready for Ovie to finish the check. Any variable of timing or distance from the boards and this is a non-issue.

Posted by: sandyflee | March 15, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion acceptance is not agreeing with the decision, just honoring it and moving on without further discussion.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else a little frustrated as in my opinion ov has been much more careful since the suspension but of course every possibly questionable hit is still getting blown way out of proportion.

Posted by: capscoach | March 15, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach,

I agree that Ovie has been more careful since the suspension. I have noticed him pulling up when I fully expected him to hit guys.

Downie should be suspended for his slewfoot of cindy crybaby. Ovie should not. Downie intended to injure and his hit was retaliatory. Ovie's hit was careless, but without malice.

Posted by: griz0615 | March 15, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

uh Campbell saw Ovie as they were both racing into the corner. You can see Campbell looks back way before they got to the puck. He then leans into the hit but toe picks which is the reason for his fall. This is actually the first time I've defended Ovie in a situation like this but seriously I play D in a non-hitting beer league and if I play a puck like that I'm always on alert 3 seconds after touching the puck and always ready for a board meeting. (this isn't soccer. enough of this turning away stuff.) If anything, get rid of that stupid trapazoid!

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Campbell has a broken collar bone and a few ribs.

He's probably out for the season.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It is hard for me to be a huge Ovechkin fan, and to really defend this action.

No, I don't think OV meant to hurt Campbell, or played with any malicious intent. That is what bothers me.

If you look back to the Pens game where Craig Adams pushes OV into the boards, we were all up in arms about it. Here, OV was more to Campbells side... but the situation is almost the same. Pushing an unsuspecting / vulnerable player a few feet from the boards is extremely dangerous. OV should know better as a players (even though most fans are still unaware apparently of how dangerous this is).

We called for Adams head. If OV had broken his collar bone and ribs, we would all call for blood.

If you look beyond the fact that we all love OV for his passion and energy ... you may start to see that sometimes he's dangerous. Not only to others, but himself too!! (Knee on knee to Gleason). I don't want him to stop playing at his 110% style.. but boy would I love it if he just picked some of his spots better. It's a fine line he walks.. and getting the reputation for crossing it won't help him in the long run I'm afraid. I don't care if the rest of the league hates him.. i'll still love watching him play. But i'd prefer it if his legacy is held in the same high esteem I maintain for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkQKBGAQExQ

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | March 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Campbell has a broken collar bone and a few ribs.

He's probably out for the season.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

too bad this didn't happen BEFORE the trading deadline, maybe they would've outbid us for Corvo

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a game yesterday. After the Hawks' third goal, I pretty much abandoned all hope, but luckily I turned the game back on for the third period and managed to see all four unanswered goals. The game defining moment was definitely Steckie's hustle to nullify the potential icing. What a great team win.

Teams can focus all they want on Ovie while one of our Caps slips past them. By the way Hawks, Nicky Swede is 4th in points.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | March 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I have been calling Ovi out on his dangerous play since posting on here. I like it, and I wouldn't ask it any other way, but plays like the Campbell hit is just unnecessary.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ wotansdad

shoot hight huh, you can say that about just about every goalie in the NHL... thanks for the insight

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

i dunno, that post of his (or hers) had more "insight" than all your posts combined.

Its so self-serving for McPhee to say that Corvo was their top targeted defenseman. Gee, how freaking conveniently that worked out! I mean, McPhee went after his top target and got him, wow! GM of the year. No matter which player he had acquired, he'd have said the same thing. I can understand to a degree saying certain things to cover your butt and make yourself look halfway competent but McPhee's double-talk takes that to a whole new level of nauseating self-promotion. Corvo is an offensive defenseman whose biggest failure is his play along the boards and in front of the net in his own end. That's not a secret, thats his bio. So unless McPhee can claim that specifically what he was looking for was an offensive defenseman only (all other traits be damned), then he's just a big fat liar about why he traded for Corvo. And if he truly didn't care about acquiring a guy who could play in his own end, he has no idea what his own team's weaknesses are. Corvo was not an upgrade DEFENSIVELY over any current player on the roster with the possible exception of Tyler Sloan who isn't in our top 6 anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

He deserved a minor but that's about it. The yelling when it happened to Ovi (via Adams) was because there was no penalty call not because we felt Adams needed to be suspended. Boarding is boarding, it's a penalty, but it's no worthy - in this case - of the 5 or the misconduct. One of two things come from the office today:

1. With the second boarding/misconduct of the year, Ovi automatically sits the next game.

2. Campbell (Colin) looks at the tape and rescinds the game misconduct, because it wasn't - and Ovi gets no suspension.

I happen to think it'll be #2.

Great fight back yesterday.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

if you look at it logically, players don't peel away from potential checks once the playoffs start. They generally take every opportunity to hit, push, and punish other players all over the ice. So I doubt many players would've chosen to hold up on that play on Campbell. And esp a player like Campbell who is a bit small and easier to punish. Look what happens to Mike Green when the playoffs start. He gets targeted on every shift because teams want to wear him down and slow him down. Teams have no sympathy for him, and so likewise I'd like the Caps to take every opportunity to finish off other players (especially the highly skilled ones). Last yr v the Pens, in the 1st pd Orpik must've creamed Semin 3 or 4 times. That served a purpose even though technically he didn't need to hit Semin. But as long as its not a clear cut boarding or interference call, I say let em play without punishment. Players will get hurt, this is a physical sport. And to draw such a fine line and ask players to refrain from hitting other players even though its LEGAL to do so, that's just nutty. If its legal within the rules, they should be able to hit in that manner whether its "needless" or "unnecessary" is frankly irrelevant. Players from their junior days thru the minors and into the majors have been playing a certain way. To ask them to now make a judgment call on what is needless or unnecessary hitting while still being technically "legal" simply isn't fair.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton - It will be interesting to see how the Corvo trade pans out. Clearly, his reputation for defensive play is less than stellar. I have to believe that he was brought in because GMGM wanted another offensive d-man, a puck carrier with a big shot from the point. He has been involved in a few mishaps already, some of which seem to be due to poor communication/unfamiliarity with the system/failure of others to cover for him. Others have looked to be just really bad decisions. What puzzles me is why they would bring him in as an offensive d-man and then pair him with Poti, who has similar skills.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

why was it even a minor? how is it a minor penalty to push down a player? I could see it if Campbell was right near the boards while facing them. But he was a few feet away, thats not a boarding penalty. What if Campbell was 10 feet from the boards and still slid into them and broke his collarbone? Is that still a penalty? That was a freak play and injury. It doesn't happen very often that a player who is a few feet away from the boards gets hurt like that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I believe the rule is that a suspension (decision) needs to occur 24 hours before the players next game....correct?

Posted by: jeets | March 15, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

jeets: No, the decision can come when the league chooses to do so. It HAS to be prior to the next game, but not within 24 hours of the play in question.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Eh, I think it was boarding. Granted, Campbell shouldn't of buckled his knees like that next to the boards with Ovi bearing down on you, but they were going full-speed. Even a little nudge like that is unnecessary.

Hope this doesn't change his game, especially with the playoffs coming.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Others have looked to be just really bad decisions. What puzzles me is why they would bring him in as an offensive d-man and then pair him with Poti, who has similar skills.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

zmega, it doesn't puzzle me one bit anymore Look at McPhee's record for signing and drafting defensemen. Aside from a Joe Finley type, McPhee only goes after either offensive defensemen (without much regard for their defensive play), or positional defenders (Schultz, Alzner). Its a very different philosophy than many other teams utilize. Our most well rounded prospect is Carlson but if you read up on why the Caps liked him, all they talked about was his skating and his booming shot from the point. They didn't mention much about his hitting or defensive play. That's not primarily why they were interested in him. This org heavily favors those puck movers on D. The balance is off. Look at the Devils who McPhee used to swear by. They have a totally different philosophy on what they like on defense. They have two young kids in Mark Fraser and Matt Corrente who are strictly hardnosed defensive defensemen, both drafted high and both who are about to become full timers in that lineup.

So you take McPhee's love of offensive defensemen and ambivalence towards the defensive hardnosed types, and combine that with Bruce's aggressive (and risky) offensive philosophy and it should be no surprise why our roster and organizational depth looks the way it does. It remains to be seen if this kind of philosophy works well in the playoffs. With Poti, Green, and Corvo all in the lineup simultaneously, I think you leave yourself open to too many silly turnovers and defensive lapses that really come into play when facing a heavy playoff forecheck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

Thanks for the back-up.

@joek443:

Sorry, I didn't realize that logical nexus from my assertion would be beyond your reasoning skills. The point being, how many goalies have a worse glove than Varly???

Posted by: wotansdad | March 15, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to know that Ovi and a few goons are the only dirty players in the league. Next time I see Malkin dish out one of his Geno specials, a vicious cross check into the boards with a side of slew footing, I'll know it's not a dirty play. Or when the former Hurricanes captain grab Ovi by the back of the neck and slammed his head into the board, he was just showing him respect.

Take off your media filters and watch the game! Ninety percent of the players could be labeled dirty.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 15, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

excellent blog post at peerless (see above, "one play, two povs") about this...


I agree strongly with Toews and am heartened by his reaction - he didn't call Ovie cheap, he said as a general rule players need to start policing themselves. He didn't go in for caveman talk about fighting either, he was talking about a culture of mutual professional respect. I think that works and will take. The irony of "enforcers" is that it doesn't create that culture. His comments, and Guerin's comments about his teammate Cooke's hit, are an encouraging sign that players themselves can create a culture of respect.

sorry for the long post...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

another point - I think Ovie's less a "dirty" player than one who makes occasional bad decisions. Nothing wrong with good, hard hits, but that one seemed to be unneeded. And he never would've shoved him if he thought he had the puck...

That being said, saying "it's just a shove" is disingenuous: when you're near a cliff (as they figuratively speaking were in that situation), a shove is a little bit more than that...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 15, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

in the Rangers-Flyers game yesterday, there must've been 3 or 4 hits that looked worse than the Ovechkin hit. And none ended up in a penalty because no one got hurt. In this case I think its the end result that was penalized more than the actual action.
Mike Del Zotto had 2 hits in the 1st period where he just crushed Flyer forwards into the boards. The difference is he didn't exactly him them as they were facing the boards but that shouldn't matter because he hit them as they were turning around to face the net along the sideboards as he came over and crushed him with blindside hits which sent them careening backwards into the part where the boards meet the ice. The back of their heads/helmets made contact before their bodies did. In essence, the action was more dangerous than what Ovy did but the end result was better because they happened not to get hurt and he wasn't penalized. The Philly fwds were slow to get up though.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Mackenzie already reporting that he got no games.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I agree that it wasn't that bad, but it was still unnecessary and unfortunately resulted in injury. This shouldn't matter, but it does to the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

and speaking of the corvo-poti tandem, in the 3rd when the Caps have all the momentum going and we've just tied up the game, the first time Chicago has the puck in our zone for an extended period of time was when Poti-Corvo was out there. They controlled the puck at will along the end boards and behind the net. The forward line at the time for us was our grinding Steckel line so you know they did their part defensively to try and get that puck out. But at numerous times, both Corvo and Poti failed to push a Hawks player off the puck and clear it. Its that type of weak defensive board play that can wear out your team and lead to extended offensive zone opportunities for the other team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

If Campbell does not go down, due to a toepick mind you, there is no penalty. This sort of play to the puck is pretty common, jockeying for position. Stecks race to the endwall involved plenty of shoving, too. Just no one went down. Bad call in my book, due more to an injury than intent and what actually occurred a push to the left shoulder, not a check to the back and in front of the net, not behind, when it occurred.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm estimating Campbell was about 7 feet away from the boards and moving when he got hit by Ovy. I don't see any way how thats a boarding call. And Ovy hit him in the side/back area. A true boarding call usually occurs when the targeted player is standing still and much closer to the boards and then gets hit square in the back.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

They were at the red line. Very far from the boards. There's a pic of it at alex ovetjkin blog.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

in the 3rd pd after the Hawks woke up, there was a clear charging penalty that went uncalled where Semin got drilled from behind. And then when he got up he got drilled again. I have to say, I bag on the Caps for being a soft team but aside from a couple of soft plays (i.e. Poti on the Toews PP goal in the 1st), the Caps team really came to compete. Knuble set the tone with his play along the boards and crashing the crease. Steckel also provided a ton of hard work and grit. And defensively much-maligned ShaMo again proved himself as our only defenseman willing to bang bodies on every shift.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

watch Poti at the 4:20 second mark. This is about the worst a defenseman can play on a play like this. He gets shoved to the ice by Toews who isn't exactly Jarome Iginla. Then he's incredibly slow to react to the rebound. Pathetic effort. But fans like JoeK of course will this as groundless Poti bashing.

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20092010,2,1022

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for hockey to turn into touch hockey. That way, we can avoid those unnecessary hits players and fans from other teams keep calling us out for. Also, we could do away with the puck, which leads to some unnecessary hazards. I could see it now - we could mike up the players and they can call out when they're hitting the imaginary puck and to whom they're sending the imaginary puck to. Then, the other team could also call out who they're pretending to hit and how hard they hit the person and where they're hitting the players. This'll help us with eliminating the referees since the plays will be called out by the players and there's no contact and with the players being miked, we could tell who is fudging it when they say they didn't have the puck when they were hit by another player. *rolls eyes*

Sorry, at the speed most of our players are going, it's clear some of the hockey players on the opposing team aren't familiar with that equation force equals mass times acceleration. It's obvious Ovi doesn't speed up with the intention to hurt anyone, but because he's got a sh*tload of mass multiplied with the burst of speed his legs give him and you've got a sh*tload of force going into a player. No offense, Campbell, sweetie but if you were smart, you'd have gotten the eff outta' the way of that speeding train. Sorry, Toews, learn the lesson. Ovi IS a force. Tell your team to get the eff outta' the way if you don't want what little force your players have on the ice tapped right into the boards. My grandmother hits harder than Ovi's hit that sent Campbell into the boards. I disagree with the bleeding hearts of Chicago.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It was Brouwer. He cross-checked Semin right in the back, close to the boards. Fanohock1 and tmac aptly pointed this out.

Very scumbag-ish play.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

i shoulda known it was Brouwer. He's their top hitting forward. And after coughing up a 3 goal 3rd pd lead I'm sure he felt it was his job to go out there and start banging a few bodies to regain some momentum. Semin played hard yesterday after Ovy got booted. It was good to see. I was also remiss in not pointing out Backstrom's play. Besides the goals, he really played a strong two game and has been for a while now. Its a far cry from the player who went into the Philly series 2 yrs ago who was tentative and timid.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The league's other skill players are upset because Ovechkin is the only one that plays a physical style and can protect himself.

The rest of the skill guys like Crosby and Toews depend upon other players in the lineup to protect them and retaliate for them and so they hid behind a veil of 'I wouldn't make a hit like that'.

No doubt, because these players don't hit anyone or anything EVER.

Crosby lets Brooks Orpik do his fighting for him and send messages when he gets checked hard and then complains about 'dirty hits in the league'.

What a hypocrite.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 15, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Malkin got hurt. Everytime he's out, the Pens have trouble. LEts see what happens.

Ovi finished his check, like many players do. He pushed him a bit early, but Campbell's skate caught a little and he went down. Not a malicious hit. These p***sy's need to stop crying. Last time I looked, this was hockey, not tiddley winks

Posted by: jmurray019 | March 15, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Cambell fell cause he was stopping to not hit the boards . OV hit him from behind forcing Campbell skates to dig and go head first into the boards ...OMG have any of u ppl EVER skated ...... KICK THE BUM OUT!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 15, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice all the Blackhawks complaining are Canadian crybabies?

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 15, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Cambell (sic.) fell cause he was stopping to not hit the boards . OV hit him from behind forcing Campbell skates to dig and go head first into the boards ...OMG have any of u ppl (sic.) EVER skated ...... KICK THE BUM OUT!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 15, 2010 1:19 PM


OMG r u 12?

FYI, I have skated....for many years. And I can tell you that even in a "non-checking" league, random $*** happens sometimes. And sometimes that random stuff looks dirtier than it is...of course, sometimes it can also be dirtier than it looks.

In that respect, I think the NHL is no different.

Bottom line is that it was a push, not a "hit". It sucks that Campbell got hurt. But as one of my fellow posters astutely pointed out: This is hockey. What do you expect?

BTW, aren't you the one who kept saying that without "more toughness" the Caps would "never win the Cup..."???

How do ya like us now? Still think we're not tough enough?

I didn't think so.

Go back to Pensblog...troll.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 15, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I thought that it also said a lot about Ovechkin that he a) signaled to campell to make sure he was alright, b) accepted the penalty and the ejection with class and dignity (he didn't protest or yell at the refs), and c) respected the officiating and other players' comments in the post-game interview. Ovie is a heckuva player and very aggressive, but he's not egotistical or out of control. His class and grace in handling this was becoming of his role on the team.

Posted by: j762 | March 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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