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Morning Reading List

I'm not sure if there is an effective way to sum up everything that happened in last night's game against the Lightning but with Tarik's hard-copy-edition story and the previous blog post you should be caught up to speed.

*Here are Tampa perspectives on the game from the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times.

*Recent addition to the morning list: Last night wasn't just hectic on the ice it was off the ice too. I luckily left a few minutes earlier but Tarik and St. Petersburg Times beat writer Damian Cristodero had a bit of an adventure getting out of the Verizon Center garage last night.

*Mike Wise believes this year could have the making of a lengthy Caps' playoff run, but tries to not get too "gaga" just yet.

*The Caps 365 crew caught up with former Washington netminder and current Minnesota Wild goaltending coach Bob Mason earlier this season.

*I won't rehash the Winter Classic, which most of the Caps media folk agreed was a much more entertaining game this year (although many missed the swirling snow of Buffalo), but here are a few places to read about Detroit's 6-4 win over the Blackhawks.'s Winter Classic page, TSN's Darren Dreger and their photo gallery, The Hockey News' Adam Proteau, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside.

In the system:
*The St. Cloud Times talks to Andrew Gordon about his brief NHL debut. Gordon became the 20th player in St. Cloud State history to play in the NHL. He and the Bears will face the Providence Bruins tonight at 7:05 p.m.

*From the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Braden Holtby made 25 saves for his third shutout of the year as the Saskatoon Blades defeated the Regina Pats 1-0.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 2, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ovechkin's Hit On Heward
Next: Friday Morning Update (Update)


Does anyone know if there is a practice this morning? The Caps website says there's one at 11 AM but sometimes they get cancelled. I wanted to make sure before I head down there that the practice will still take place.


Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | January 2, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow, folks ... dirty? Really? It looked like a clean hit to me. And from what I can see on the video, Ovie did not leave his feet and did not use an elbow. It did not even look that hard! I would be shocked if Ovie is sanctioned for this - it is just not warranted.

I am not at all surprised that no one went after Ovie. It is not look malicious AND he was clearly upset about it. Anyone who went after him would have looked like a real jerk.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone besides me a little worried about Ovi? While my thoughts and prayers are with Jamie Heward and his family, it doesn't sound like Ovi is taking this well at all. I don't want him to drop his game because of it - I think that was just horrid timing and horrid luck in a rough sport. Hopefully Clarkie and Gabby can talk him down. :(

Posted by: kittypawz | January 2, 2009 9:06 AM

Repost. Got bit by the new thread bug.

Not exactly an auspicious start to the New Year.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 2, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I will post this one more time. Please send in some pics ofyour own to this worthless blog

The Penguins are:
- Close to firing their coach
- Finding out Crosby cant lead
- 1 pt out of not making the playoffs...and

They spend half their blog ripping O.A. and playing games to make fun of him. What a joke.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 2, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Oops ... it DID not look malicious.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 2, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Hope Heward has a fast recovery. He seems to have the worst luck when it comes to strange on ice accidents (like the skate to the cheek against Dallas). Regardless - Ovie was finishing his check, not a dirty hit. But depending on your perspective there seem to be different angles to the story. The Tampa media says Ovie used his elbow, but I really don't see that when i watch.

Posted by: Grape8 | January 2, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Hey that Pensblog is hilarious. Made me laugh heartily.

Posted by: chuckatcws | January 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

This is great news:

"Jamie Heyward was temporarily unconscious but left the ice with motion in all extremities, the team said."

You know everyone of the sports writers will demand a suspension. I can hear Don Cherry now ranting and raving about how AO is reckless and a menace. I can also hear him say that the league needs to clamp down now on these hits and this is the time and place to show they're serious.

Cherry won't be alone.

I just hope that this doesn't affect AO's play.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 2, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Of course the Tampa media is going to say it was a dirty hit. It was on their player! But Ovechkin himself said he hadn't intended injury; he was sitting outside Tampa's locker room (according to Sports Illustrated) in nothing but a towel after the game, waiting for word.

If the NHL comes down on Ovechkin for this, people will be up in arms. They didn't come down on Milan Lucic for the hit on Pothier, and from all accounts I've heard, it looked similar.

Of course, if the NHL *doesn't* come down on Ovechkin for this, people will be up in arms, too. This is going to be a very polarizing issue.

To me, it was a clean hit that went bad. It wasn't Ovechkin's fault that Heward had his head down.

Posted by: irockthered | January 2, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

anyone know if practice is still on this morning?

Posted by: goskinsgo | January 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'd hope so, based on that performance last night.

Posted by: Section117 | January 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S.: Yup, I figure the same. Doesn't seem to matter that Ovi was quite plainly upset about it - it's their golden chance to re-enthrone Crosby. (And did anyone notice how his below-the-belt stunt got swept under the rug?)Ovi is the threat to their enthronement of Crosby, and they'll take it and run with it.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 2, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Very conspicuous in it's absence, Kittypawz.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 2, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind if you feel like submitting this. I tried to put a skirt on him, but for some reason Paint was being stupid. Once I get my Photoshop back, I'll try again. The Pens Blog sometimes makes me laugh, but that hit could in no way be filed under "intent to injure", so they're making me mad.
I think this is one of the times the team can help Ovie as much as he helps them. If he's really upset, they need to help him out, especially if the media outside of DC starts on him for it. This came at about as rough a time, personally, as it could for Ovie. I hope the team can get through to him so he doesn't fall into a funk.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

So, I read the Maxim article yesterday. I for one did not find it offending. That is the type of article that is going to be in that magazine. That's what the readers think is cool - in that magazine. If Alex was in Home and Garden, I am sure they would have written about Alex helping an old lady across the street or how he makes muffins on Christmas eve. I don't know, I did not have a problem with the article... it is what it is and Maxim is trying to sell magaizines and create good stories for their readers. The article would have been different had it been in another magazine.

Posted by: _828 | January 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this will affect Alex too long. He is a competitor in which things like this happens. He will be fine. If they suspend him, I will be pissed and we should all write letters to the NHL for not suspending Crosby on his crotch rocket. But, I don't think Alex will get anything. Time to move on and catch Boston.

Nice pic JMU!

Posted by: _828 | January 2, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

LOL if ov had been hit from behind in the head this blog would be screaming for blood.The nhl needs to protect all of its players by making ANY hits to the head with sticks or heavily armored body parts a severely punished act before more careers are cut short.Accidental or not head shots must be eliminated.Presently there is no regard for other players and OV did hit him from behind in the head.

Posted by: wendel2 | January 2, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

What is someone trips and gets hit into the boards head first. How can you prevent that. Bottom line, head shots are going to happen. You can't fine or suspend players for accidents. Then, they would turn into the QB two hand touch that the NFL has created. Injuries are going to happen, that is the nature of the game.

But yes, I do agree, had Alex been the one that was hit, this board would be crying up a river right now.

Posted by: _828 | January 2, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse


He looks so sweet! Such a cute boy.

Jeez, I disgust myself!

Posted by: Greg S. | January 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@828 I think the NFL is still very physical without head shots. The world juniors have a no head shot rule and that product is still very exciting. I think the NHL can and should err on the side of getting players to think twice about hitting in dangerous ways . There would still be room for open ice banging

Posted by: wendel2 | January 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I was talking about accidents though. I am all for the hitting, however, accidental stuff will and can happen. You can't punish that. Like I said, if someone trips and another guy is on his way checking him, and his head hits the glass... how can you punish the checker. It's a lot harder to slow down on grass and turf that it is on ice. As for the NFL, just about every single bone crushing hit on the QB is slapped with a fine now. It kinda stinks for some of these players as it was a legit hit.
I guess I am just saying there is a difference in someone actually becoming a head hunter and someone who accidentatlly hits someone in the head. There is a difference - at least I think so.

Posted by: _828 | January 2, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

No one wants to see Heward hurt on the ice, but seriously haters; Caps fan or not, the hit was not dirty, not an elbow, obviously not with malice and not after leaving his feet.

everyone cringes in these kinds of situations (a la the Weight hit on Sutter earlier this season), but in a physical game like hockey this is bound to happen sometimes. Can intentional head shots be minimized? probably. can they been completely eliminated? not unless the NHL is going to do away with ALL hitting. if that happens, no NHL.

i will say that the NHL needs to have a more consistent policy on intentional head shots and needs to apply it consistently. their current practice is not helping with the issue of trying to do away with head shots.

Posted by: doughless | January 2, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse


I don't think anybody, no matter how dirty, is a "head hunter". Most if not all hits to the head are unintentional.
OVI didn't intend to hurt... I'm not even sure if/how he could have avoided the hit... but the net result... was different than the intentions.

Posted by: mauree | January 2, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh look, a troll showed up after a win. I'm impressed.

Not sure I agree, 828. Remember Pronger's hit on Mike Green? Even though it knocked him out of the game, I think most of us agreed that it was a clean hit and nobody was really screaming for blood. Maybe one or two retards, but most people felt that there was nothing wrong with it. Also, most people here felt that that last goal was a goal before it was washed out. I think most people on here are pretty fair even when the calls don't go their way.

The fact is that that hit was a very sad accident. Hits like that are going to happen from time to time, and can happen to anyone. I can tell you for sure that there was no intent to injure there - that should be obvious simply from Ovi's reaction. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 2, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

new thread... Semin's on the line-up!

Posted by: mauree | January 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

How are we not agreeing? I didn't see anything wrong with Pronger's hit either. Injuries are going to happen no matter what. Oh, yeah, you are not agreeing with the whole board crying about it... haha, yes, well, we can agree to disagree because this board can get ugly... win or lose, someone has something to complain about.
mauree - I think there are head hunters out there... you are always going to have 'bad' people... that's just the way it goes.

Posted by: _828 | January 2, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The world juniors have a no head shot rule and that product is still very exciting. I think the NHL can and should err on the side of getting players to think twice about hitting in dangerous ways .

Posted by: wendel2 | January 2, 2009 10:58 AM
The IIHF rules are tighter in general on fighting and on equipment, which the NHL should maybe consider employing part of.

Posted by: Section117 | January 2, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Good point _828, I agree. After watching the video numerous looks clean to me. I agree the situation is very unfortunate and I wish Heward a speedy recovery. Of course we, as Caps fans, would be upset if the same happened to any of our guys. But, that upset would be due to emotion and not logic. The fact of the matter is, Heward looked down and in doing so placed his head at shoulder level during the hit. Ovechkin could not predict Heward would do that and after the fact showed real concern. But, everyone has an opinion and I will leave the decision of suspension to the people who get paid to do so.

Posted by: NatyBG | January 2, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The hit doesn't have to be dirty to be illegal.

It wasn't Ovechkin's intention to hurt Heward. One could even argue that it wasn't his intention to Heward in the head. It seems obvious to me that Heward's head was lower at the time of impact than it was when Ovechkin was lining him up. It seemed like a case of bad timing.

To me, though, that shouldn't matter.

Players are held accountable for their sticks, regardless of intention. If a player's stick strikes an opponent in the face, it's a penalty.

If a player is accountable for his stick, why should Ovechkin not be accountable for the other 217 lbs of him? He hit Heward in the head. He didn't, as the Tampa Tribune writes, push his head into the glass. His arm, which was originally in position to check Heward legally, struck Heward in the head as Heward looked down for the puck.

It wasn't a dirty hit. But that doesn't mean Ovechkin doesn't deserve disciplinary action for it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I liked Jamie Heward when he was with the Caps and I hope his injuries aren't serious and that he makes a fast and full recovery.

That said, it still amazes me that guys will go to the glass with their backs turned and their heads down when they know full well that someone is going to hit them. I don't mean to suggest that hitting from behind is okay, it's obviously not, but I think it should be at least as incumbent on the receiver of a hit to make sure he's in a good position to take it as the hitter is.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | January 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Of course there are head hunters out there. One of the worst of them has a banner in his honor hanging from the roof of the Verizon Center.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | January 2, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

johninmpls, players are responsible for their sticks unless they are in the normal act of shooting the puck. in that case, there is no penalty if you strike a player in the face (semin did it to brindamor earlier in the year).

its the same logic here. you should be responsible for your body but if you are making a legal check, not from behind, not leaving your feet or w/ your elbows out you should not be penalized if a player "looks down at the puck" as you said. jamie looked down at the puck, ov checked him legally from the side. if the hit is legal and not dirty, why should he be subject to disciplinary action?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone got the beat on this story? Ovie gives signed All Star jersey to a fan in Buffalo with MS.

Posted by: matt5484 | January 2, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

That pensblog made me really really angry for some reason. I usually don't let the opinion of someone with the intelligence of a four year old upset me that much. It's obvious they know Ovechkin is the superior player, and that is why they hate him so much.

However, calling the writer from MAXIM a "journalist" was priceless. I may never stop laughing about that one.

Posted by: goskins1982 | January 2, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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