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Poll: Should Ovechkin tone it down?

Alex Ovechkin's knee-on-knee hit on Carolina's Tim Gleason last night sent both players to the dressing room and got the Caps' star winger ejected for the second time in five days.

The NHL hasn't taken any disciplinary actions yet, but because this isn't the first time Ovechkin has avoided suspension for a dangerous hit -- he received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit Wednesday on Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta -- the league might not be so forgiving this time around.

Taking into account the risk of injury -- to himself or others -- and the toll on the Caps should they lose their best player to a suspension, does Ovechkin need to tone down his reckless style of play?

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  December 1, 2009; 11:44 AM ET
 
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Next: Ovechkin 'day to day' with sore knee

Comments

...as if our opinions will matter one iota. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Don Cherry's tailor should tone it down.

Posted by: uncatim | December 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@uncatim - Don Cherry's tailor should be taken out back for a good hiding! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if the team hit more as a whole would Ovie be likely to tone it down then? Unfortunately he's the only one that can chagne the tide of a game with a big hit for the Caps right now. And forget big hit he's the only person that consistently hits period. Maybe throw Brads in there.

Posted by: alagarts | December 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Yes, he needs to tone it down. I'm all for hitting guys and being physical. Just make sure the clean hit's there to be had. His problem is that he always commits fully to the huge hit. He needs to pick his chances better. That way he can still hit people and be a physical force, but he can avoid the penalties and injuries and get on with scoring.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | December 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Holy crap uncatim! I just laughed out loud in my cubicle.... lots of attention from my neighbors. You got me good

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If he tones it down, he should be traded to Pittsburgh so he can play on the "soft" line with Crosby and Malkin.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@washcaps on Twitter (which is the team's official Twitter feed) lists Ovechkin as day-to-day with a sore knee.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There aren't enough choices. The choices should be

1) Play exactly the same w/o abandon.
2) Tone it down a small amount.
3) Tone it down a medium amount.
4) Yes, he should be focused on scoring and staying in the game.

I vote for #2. As I have pointed out, any time you do anything in life with reckless abandon - the piper will ultimately demand his cash. This was no different than the time he tried to plaster Malkin through the boards. Controlled fury to just plain better.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't that be "with abandon"?

Either way, there's been speculation that Ovechkin may potentially limit the length of his career because of his playing style. This may all be part of the maturation process...learning when to make the hit and when not to and perhaps this episode is part of the learning process for Ovie.

Posted by: Blueline | December 1, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

OVI DAY TO DAY... Reported on Washington times

Posted by: lightshow | December 1, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"If he tones it down, he should be traded to Pittsburgh so he can play on the "soft" line with Crosby and Malkin."

Precisely...you cannot tone Ovechkin down, to do so would eliminate the player he is. That is his game, playing hard and fast with reckless abandon. It's unfortunate that plays like this happen, but it comes with his style of play. Hockey is an extremely physical and dangerous sport, sometimes hits like these are unavoidable.

Posted by: reesem37 | December 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Officially, Ovechkin is "day-to-day" with a right knee injury. He just addressed the media and didn't have much to say about the injury itself, other than he saw the doctor before he went on the ice and it isn't as bad as he had first feared."

Posted by: lightshow | December 1, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't think he should 'tone down' the intensity with which he plays the game. He just needs to be a little smarter about throwing hits. You don't need to always lay the 'knockout hit' on someone.

He should just needs to be a little more aware of his body and his opponents' when he hits someone.

Posted by: DrCapsFan11 | December 1, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

He plays with heart and I respect that. No, I would never ask him to tone it down. Whatever transition occurs in his game I would rather it come naturally, he doesn't need us scolding him or acting like an angry mob.

Posted by: mrszilla | December 1, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

My opinion on Ovie is that he should tone it down, only in the sense of exerting more discipline--not change his style.

This year, but especially in the last 3 games, it seems to me that there is something new about his aggressiveness that I do not like. I don't know what it is exactly. It comes across like anger or frustration rather than passion. It diminishes his focus and makes him a bit more selfish and less of a team player.

I love his passion and intensity but, if I am right and there is anger, frustration & impatience there, the balance is tipped toward recklessness rather than abandon. To me there is a big difference. By "abandon" I mean willingness to commit and give it his all. That's the Ovechkin I know. By "recklessness" I mean losing focus and control, NOT exercising leadership and allowing emotions to take over.

If I were BB, I would have that kind of talk with him. He needs to lead by example and mature into a two-way player rather than an ill-tempered prima-donna. (Not that he has become that but there is a danger).

Does anyone else see a difference in Ovie's recent aggressiveness or is it just me?

Posted by: caraveli | December 1, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think when you look at the number of hits he makes, what is it? 250 per season?, this is going to happen, unfortunately. Keep playing the same way because I don't think he can half-step.

Posted by: saintex | December 1, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I also think that Ovi is filling the role of the muscle on this team and it goes back to the Columbus game and even further to the beginning. If someone takes liberties, when he's on the ice or on the bench, he will line them up and make them pay. I think that add'l role has something to do with his aggression this year.

Posted by: saintex | December 1, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Does Russian techno music on an iPod count as having a-band on? I'd say he should not be listening to music while playing hockey no.

Day-to-Day report comes from Washington Caps.com and is disseminated from there.

Any word on how long the Caps will continue to be disSeminated?

Posted by: austinsteve | December 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I love that Ovie plays without abandon. That's part of not only his success but his entertainment value as a spectacle with NHL hockey (another spectacle).

That said, this machismo attitude (e.g., Mike Milberry) which treats injuries to players as trivial and just a part of being a man is destructive to the sport and its players and is just primitive chauvinism.

Injuries matter, and the league has both a moral and a business pragmatic reason to tone them down.

It says a lot of, for example, Liang's character that he "sacrifices his body for his team," but it also says a lot about a sport the encourages such injuries in the name of codpiece-stuffing manliness. Liang spent Thanksgiving with his mouth wired shut. His children can't hear their father's voice for a month. The Caps are without a hardworking "blue collar" defensive forward and PK specialist.

So I think the league should take injuries seriously and not just whip out the machismo in controversial situations. I love Ovie and have home/away Great 8 jerseys, but I think a suspension might be good for him and the league.

Posted by: jbardzel | December 1, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@Caraveli

Yes I see it too. He seems to be playing angry but I have also noticed the teams we have been playing have been doing a lot of hacking and holding and I think Ovi's attitude is if the Refs aren't gonna control that crap with penalty calls then I am.

Right before the "hit" ovi got speared by Aaron Ward and Backstrom was mauled. I think he goes for the big hit after that to stick up for his teammates.

Posted by: hart2014 | December 1, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Did you just use "codpiece" in a hockey blog.

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Everybody in the league reached this dream by playing the way they play. THEY WILL NOT CHANGE.

Posted by: wis193 | December 1, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"Taking into account the risk of injury -- to himself or others -- and the toll on the Caps should they lose their best player to a suspension, does Ovechkin need to tone down his reckless style of play?"

That's quite the leading question, isn't it?

Posted by: mikebrady1 | December 1, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Alot of the Canadian blogs are calling for suspension anywhere from 2 to 10 games.
I'm not sure it can be avoided this time.
The league will probably want to show that there is no such thing as "star treatment" for anyone.
Discussion?

Posted by: pmoravek | December 1, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think his aggressive style of play is necessary for the Caps. He is stepping up every game and usually getting multiple hits per game, giving the Caps an aggressive edge. As we have seen before some hits Ovie gets can really uplift the team when they are down.

I also think a Ovie needs to play smart in the sense that Ref's are now keeping an eye on him because of his controversial hits. So he should prolly tread softly in some cases to avoid those 5 minute majors. The bottom line is that it is his style of play and his prolly not gonna change it much.

Posted by: navidw | December 1, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

something tells me uncle ted is going to pay a visit to ovie today...no need to cause him to have an infarction right when he gets his chance to buy the whole deal...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Did you just use "codpiece" in a hockey blog?

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 12:07 PM

I LOL'd.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It says a lot of, for example, Liang's character that he "sacrifices his body for his team," but it also says a lot about a sport the encourages such injuries in the name of codpiece-stuffing manliness. Liang spent Thanksgiving with his mouth wired shut. His children can't hear their father's voice for a month. The Caps are without a hardworking "blue collar" defensive forward and PK specialist.

--------------------------------

Laing is a damn good soldier... he'd eat his guts and ask for seconds. I think that's very admirable. I also think that if he could give an interview on CSN with his jaw wired shut, he could manage to talk to his children... dramatic much?

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't need to tone it down, necessarily, he just needs to play smarter. Although, saintex is correct. If you hit people, and you hit them a lot, these things will happen.

Posted by: snakegriffin | December 1, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

A suspension is the right call imo, 2-3 games would be right. I don't think there was intent to injure, but he absolutely put another player at risk (and damaged himself) with a reckless hit.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mrszilla. Word from the wise, people. The change will come naturally. Leave him be...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | December 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@hart2014 - Very, very true, on both the spearing and the mauling. And Ovechkin got speared in the "produce section" last season with no call, too. He does seem to be trying to stick up for his teammates... unfortunately, with the NHL being pressured to call penalties on superstars, and given the numbers of the guys on the ice - both of whom (according to this thread on Japers' Rink call the away team more frequently than the average referee in the league... Ovechkin was going to be called for SOMETHING, and the home team was going to *not* get called.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The only reason he needs to tone it down is for his future health and career.

You cannot play a hard-nosed game like that forever.

That said, I hope Ovi is able to play with his edge for as long as he can.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

I agree that Ovi's hits are more about frustration than passion this year. I think that is because Ovi has taken on the enforcer role. Teams have taken liberties with the guys because they don't fear retribution. Look at how Carolina played after the Ovi injury/ejection. They were definitely looking to injure someone. The worst was when Gleason drags Sloan by his jersey across the ice right in front of Steckel. Steckel didn't even turn to confront Gleason, he just tries to pull Sloan free. This has been this team's MO all year. Why would any team stop taking runs at the Caps after seeing that?

Posted by: ablake70 | December 1, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

How can you suspend the player who got hurt in the collision?

Gleeson wasn't injured but for a minute or two. Meanwhile Ovi is hurt. 5 and 10 is more than adequate when the other guy wasn't hurt.

Injuring yourself should be penalty enough.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Right before the "hit" ovi got speared by Aaron Ward and Backstrom was mauled. I think he goes for the big hit after that to stick up for his teammates.

Posted by: hart2014

he needs to be a lot smarter about how/when to exact revenge. in that sense he does need to tone it down. the possibility of injury to another player or himself or the potential to miss game time due to injury or suspension actually hurts the team

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

yes, he should tone it down or he'll end up like Cam Neely

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Someone correct me if I am wrong but wasn't Gleason the one who nailed Nicky into the boards not but 15 seconds earlier on the other side of the zone? I am thinking that it was and Ovi was taking the opportunity to get back at them for the hit on his boy Backstrom. Even if it wasn't Gleason who hit Nicky we all know that Ovi is one to go tit for tat when it comes to other teams hitting his teammates.

Oh and I voted that he shouldn't change because that is part of the reason everybody loves him. He plays all out all the time. We laude guys like Laing for sacrificing his body so why not Ovi as well. Yes he has a responsibility but part of what makes him such a good player, and so hard to play against, is the physicality he brings to the game. I am very happy that he is up and moving around and not on crutches. That is a great sign and sigh of relief.

Posted by: pkendrick | December 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Enforcers are stupid.

If something happens on the ice, you deal with it right then. You don't wait for 2 people who can't skate worth a lick to get on the ice and hug each other for 5 minutes to "settle" something that happened on the ice 10 minutes ago. Ovi did the absolutely right thing in sticking up for Backstrom. He did not think about what he was doing.


If the team exuded an overall toughness, like your example when Steckel was just standing by watching Sloan get thrashed, we wouldn't need an enforcer either way.

The team needs to get overall more physical, they don;t necessarily need an enforcer.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Reesem37, play with a soft line with Crosby and Malkin?? You must not watch hockey dude. They play hard, clean, and “BACKCHECK” which you’re Ovi knows nothing about! They have also already won a Stanley Cup with their soft play. I love it when people like you make uneducated comments about players that have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you have a second rate superstar that plays for him and always will! While he keeps winning his individual trophies the Penguins will keep contending for cups with their soft players!! Lol I can’t wait until your superstar gets ousted again by the so called soft players! It’s always a pleasure knocking you guys out of the playoffs!!

Posted by: jpocasangre1978 | December 1, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree with one of the comments - not enough choices. Tone it down? Literally, yes. But not much.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | December 1, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ovi's hit was reckless- there is a good freeze frame on Puck Daddy today- it is clear he leads with his knee. I understand- Ovi gets annoyed-mad and wants to exact revenge right away, but he needs to be under better control and choose his spots better...but that's like telling a bull not to see red. That being said- Carolina was absolutely dirty last night...probably the dirtiest team we have played all year.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

In last night's game, there were a HUGE number of penalties called. More than the Caps have taken in several games.

Let's look at the TYPE of penalty.

* Capitals
- Hooking (Restraining)
- Kneeing (Physical)
- Hi-sticking (Stick/Physical - x3 - Really? Really??!)
- Interference (Restraining - x2)
- Roughing (Physical)

* Hurricanes
- Hooking (Restraining - x2)
- Tripping (Restraining)
- Boarding (Physical - x2)
- Roughing (Physical)

Both teams also took a misconduct (Ovechkin's was game, Gleason's 10-minute).

9 penalties, 29 minutes for the Caps, 7 penalties, 22 minutes for Carolina.

Posted by: irockthered | December 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@pkendrick

the problem with playing a hard-nosed game like that is he isn't going to make it to 35 healthy.

It's the #1 criticism of all the great physical superstars; Forsberg, Neely, Lindros, etc.

They either get hit themselves for their physical game or they mush up their own bodies by constantly checking people.

Ovie already has to go through 35346346 painkiller injections in the playoffs. That's not good.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

as long as they allow fighting, every team needs an ENFORCER - not only is it stupid, it is utterly irresponsible not to have one on your team

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

That's quite the leading question, isn't it?

Posted by: mikebrady1 | December 1, 2009 12:13 PM |


I was thinking the same thing actually.

Anybody else see Perreault cringing in pain after being pasted into the boards? Little guy takes quite a beating.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 1, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Reesem37, play with a soft line with Crosby and Malkin?? You must not watch hockey dude. They play hard, clean, and “BACKCHECK” which you’re Ovi knows nothing about! They have also already won a Stanley Cup with their soft play. I love it when people like you make uneducated comments about players that have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you have a second rate superstar that plays for him and always will! While he keeps winning his individual trophies the Penguins will keep contending for cups with their soft players!! Lol I can’t wait until your superstar gets ousted again by the so called soft players! It’s always a pleasure knocking you guys out of the playoffs!!

Posted by: jpocasangre1978 | December 1, 2009 12:31 PM |

Crosby and Malkin both play a pretty physical game, but it's not anywhere near the intensity of Ovechkin. They also aren't exactly Datsyuk and Z-berg out there, in terms of their two-way play.

Anyways...I don't know why I am feeding the trolls. Last night there were respectable Pens fans here. I guess wishing for 2 of them in the world is too much.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

How can you suspend the player who got hurt in the collision?

Tom,

Who iniatiated the contact? The fact that Ov was "hurt" and Gleason wasn't doesn't matter. It was knee on knee and it was reckless and it was his second major in two games.

If it was Ott or Avery who iniatiated contact and got hurt, still no suspension...?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 1, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

jpocas..(whatever): are you done? What type of reaction are you looking for to satisfy you? I'll be happy to oblige, just clarify so we can move on.

Thanks

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

as long as they allow fighting, every team needs an ENFORCER - not only is it stupid, it is utterly irresponsible not to have one on your team

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 12:35 PM |

No, it's not.

What's stupid are staged fights. What's stupid are guys who can't play a lick of hockey getting 1-way contracts.

If your linemate got checked dirty, you do something about it then. You don't let your goon get his shift and wait to match the other team's goon shift to deal with something that had absolutely nothing to do with either goon.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I think he needs to tone it down. He is such a marvelous player and watching the Caps is so much fun now. That said, Leonsis has a lot invested in OV and he needs to make sure that he is on the ice and not in the booth. If that means modifying OV's game then so be it.

Many argue that changing his game will make him less effective; that his style is what makes him great. I disagree. When Scotty Bowman tool the reigns in Detroit he asked them same of Steve Yzerman. Yzerman complied and has a couple of rings to show for it.

A cup is more important than a few hits.

Posted by: RogueBiscuit | December 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

No, if the Caps were a tougher team the last 2 years, we might have hoisted that elusive Cup, they aint scrappy enough, Ovi does it all and I hope he keeps doin' it

Posted by: retroskins14 | December 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

What prevents players from policing themselves now?

The stupid instigator rule.

Worst rule in professional sports history.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I think he needs to tone it down. He is such a marvelous player and watching the Caps is so much fun now. That said, Leonsis has a lot invested in OV and he needs to make sure that he is on the ice and not in the booth. If that means modifying OV's game then so be it.

Many argue that changing his game will make him less effective; that his style is what makes him great. I disagree. When Scotty Bowman took the reigns in Detroit he asked them same of Steve Yzerman. Yzerman complied and has a couple of rings to show for it.

A cup is more important than a few hits.

Posted by: RogueBiscuit | December 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse


as long as they allow fighting, every team needs an ENFORCER - not only is it stupid, it is utterly irresponsible not to have one on your team

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 12:35 PM |

No, it's not.

What's stupid are staged fights. What's stupid are guys who can't play a lick of hockey getting 1-way contracts.

If your linemate got checked dirty, you do something about it then. You don't let your goon get his shift and wait to match the other team's goon shift to deal with something that had absolutely nothing to do with either goon.

Posted by: richmondphil

richmondphil is right

joek443:
how would one enforcer fighting another enforcer keep the other players on the ice honest? would someone like gleason drop the gloves with an enforcer?
if ovi was sticking up for his team - that's fine - but it can't be from a questionable play in the open ice. it wouldn't hurt if some of the other guys on the team take on this responsibility as well

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

You don't let your goon get his shift and wait to match the other team's goon shift to deal with something that had absolutely nothing to do with either goon.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:38 PM |


I like this. Case in point was when Sloan drilled the guy in Calgary, and his teammate immediately came over and jumped Sloan. NOW- I'm not saying that was warranted, but you get the point. Immediate retribution. *Disclaimer* Sloans hit was very clean, and he should not have been jumped. But I imagine that any hit one of your teammates takes, looks dirty to you- regardless.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 1, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Cooke took a run at Anisimov in their 1st of 2 games and Brashear tried to fight Cooke.

Since Cooke is the biggest wussy ever, he refused to man-up for his pest actions and Brash was given a double minor.

Really?

Guys can't even defend their own teammates without having fear that the refs are going to hurt your team.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm with tominfl1--I choose no. 2 but I would describe it as playing the edge better, lean to the side of a bit more caution.

He plays in that gray area with his hard physical play and he needs that physicality to play at the top of his game. I read on one of the Caps friendly blogs that Ovi is his most dangerous when he is like a drunken lunatic careening around on the ice because it makes him especially unpredictable.

The war metaphor for sports is clearly evident in Ovi's style--the warrior blood lust takes over. But he needs to play on that edge with more maturity. Let go of the big hit now that the other players are trying to avoid the hit.

He is so agile on the ice, both to find the big hits and to avoid them with other players. But sometimes it seems to me that he expects other players to both with the same degree of agility and skill--and too many other players can't.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 1, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R: A suspension is supposed to be both a deterrent against future actions of a similar nature and a punishment for actions, actually taken, that caused harm.

Gleason wasn't hurt, even though he initially appeared to be. The league can't suspend a player "for his own good." You can't suspend players when there's no injury to the other guy unless you have indisputable evidence of an intent to injure. That's my opinion and I don't think such evidence exists.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

^

This is in regards to the instigator rule, the worst rule in professional sports. Not really in regards to needing an enforcer. Which you don't really need. You need your teammates and your linemates to be hockey players and stick up for eachother when run is taken or a dirty play is made.

I like enforcers...I don't like guys who are paid to show up on a shift and fight and then sit on the bench the rest of the game. As a fan of old-time hockey joek443, you should know where I'm coming from. Whatever happened to the guys who could put the puck in the net, hit, and fight when necessary? I called for an "enforcer" at the start of the season; but definitely not any of these one-dimensional Orr's or Brashear's. I want a kid who is going to play some hockey and will also throw down the gloves for his teammates when needed.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 1, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

How about when Hitchcock comes out and admits he sends his own players on the ice to "run" Ovechkin? And then the league does nothing? So Ovi does essentially the same thing and it's a crime?

Steve R???

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 1, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

as long as they allow fighting, you would much rather see guys drop the gloves and settle whatever dispute they may have between them... or the alternative is one such as Ovie going after Gleason's knee

which would you prefer??

Posted by: joek443 | December 1, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If Ovechkin changes his style he'll resemble those miserable, purse carrying losers in Pittsburgh, Malkin and Crosby. You know those two right? They're the current Stanley Cup Champions.

Posted by: MacyWolfe | December 1, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If Ovechkin changes his style he'll resemble those miserable, purse carrying losers in Pittsburgh, Malkin and Crosby. You know those two right? They're the current Stanley Cup Champions.

Posted by: MacyWolfe | December 1, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

------------------

You had me until the last part, LOL. This has nothing to do with them, save it for Puck Daddy....

Posted by: Chad8 | December 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

How about couching the poll questions to offer a few more viewpoint options. I love the way Ovechkin plays and if I do I don't agree that is is isolated to playing with abandon. Maybe his play is focused. Maybe more guys on the Caps roster could pickup the physical aspects of their games and elevate their play. Your $10 million per year guy shouldn't have to be the only one hitting.

Posted by: cwiseman | December 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Tom,

And which Columbus player got a major + 10? None. There was a 2min minor doled out. Their running Ov was done within the rules aside from the roughing penalty. Hitchcock's guys did what every other team tries to do: hit the other teams stars whenever possible and get them off their game. There is nothing wrong with that unless you cross the line with: boarding, charging, kneeing, etc.

Ov ran Malkin last season every chance he had (until they made up at the ASG). Wasn't penalized. Should he have been? Using your logic he should have been suspended.

What else ya got?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 1, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

What's the rule regarding injured players and suspensions. If Ovi gets suspended for two games, its my understanding that he would have to wait until he can play to serve the suspension. But, what's to prevent the caps from saying he's ready for Thursdays game, even if he isn't, so that they can count that game towards serving the suspension.

Posted by: hook99 | December 1, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope Jumpy66 is still here. What's pathetic is that vultures come here when they smell blood. Maybe you are here because even though the Pens are off to their best start in franchise history, they are still in 2nd place. Put your powder blue jersey on, sit in the corner, and keep coloring.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 1, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@Fro_

Aren't you people all tired of seeing retaliation for good hits that just happen to be strong? The Sloan hit in Calgary in his first NHL game was solid and clean. No reason for any Calgary Flame to get his rear on his back and come over. All this uppity-up over solid hits is needless and pointless.

Posted by: cwiseman | December 1, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"If he tones it down, he should be traded to Pittsburgh so he can play on the "soft" line with Crosby and Malkin."

Yeah well, they have a Cup under thier belt also. :(

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 1, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ovie is Ovie - an AMAZING player!!!! People forget the days when hockey players wore no helmets and minimum protective gear. If you cant take the heat- stay off the ice! As for a suspension, why does the league do that? Its doesnt hurt the player as much as it does me who spent THOUSANDS for my season tickets to watch Ovie PLAY!!!! I lose, the FAN!!!! If you fine him a couple grand, he won't miss the money, or rather, bottle of Cristal.

Posted by: jsaccone | December 1, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I've noticed...

Ovi only gets called with one of these "major" calls when he feels the need to protect and deliver...as we have already determined

He also gets called when we are dominating

He also gets called for "major penalties" that if it were any other player on our team or the opposing team, wouldn’t get called to begin with.

He also gets called when he acts like a leader,

And lately he gets called, practically every time he's on the ice, as seldom as that may be.

(Granted none of these occur all the time, they are just what I’ve noticed recently)

Now last night warranted a major, I agree, however I do not feel as though it deserved a game misconduct, nor does it warrant a suspension.

Here's my reasoning: Ovi led with his shoulder, slow motion confirmed that, and his leg followed. To me, it looked like he was in the midst of picking up speed, he cross stepped, braced for impact, and suddenly Gleason wasn’t there any more...To me ovi plays with a speed that is unmatched, and passion that is rare, and he had no intention of hurting anyone, we all know that. Ovi is the best player in the NHL and arguably the best player in the world, just because of his style, his passion. Who are we to condemn him?

On a side note (and I’m not saying that I am right) it seems to me that Ovi is being watched. The refs have his number(don’t we all) but all joking aside, the great eight is being watched, because the NHL and the Sidney Crosby’s of the world do not like the fact that the Russian Machine is taking over the NHL. He is untouchable and they figure if he won’t break, if he won’t stop scoring goals, then let’s sit him in the penalty box for 90% of the game, or better yet, let’s kick him out, or even better, let’s suspend him for a few games and give Crybaby Sidney a chance to rack up some points on him. To me it is a disgrace, and quite honestly, makes me a little sad to be a part of the NHL. Yes, with Ovi’s style of play, some penalties are warranted and inevitable really, but 80% of the calls that these refs have made lately have left me questioning the ethics of much of the NHL, its Players, and its staff.

...that being said, it will be interesting to see what the commissioner will have to say to ovi in the next few days... however I have a pretty strong feeling that it will have little to no effect on The Great Eight!

Posted by: -19- | December 1, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

correction...comissioner should be colin campbell...sorry

:-(

Posted by: -19- | December 1, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

For the Capitals to advance in the Eastern Conference playoffs they need to get over this injury bug and perhaps make a deal for a veteran defenseman in advance of the trade deadline.

Ovechkin DOES have to stay on the ice for the team to succeeed and selling out his body to make hay against a Carolina team that is right now the worst in the conference makes no sense.

Ovie needs to display greater judgment about WHERE and WHEN he decides to ratchet up his game physically to help the team.

Last night was not one of those situations.

We are just about to get Poti, Semin and Morrisonn back.

We don't need to lose anyone else.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

He seems to get going when he is pounding someoe otherwise I think he gets bored..

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | December 2, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin should never lose the perception of that "aggressive edge". He may statistically tone it done for the sake of the refs, coaches and management, but he should always invoke fear to opposing players are still fully aware of his physical capabilities. Just the mere "flinch" of his shoulders or "shout" of his voice is probably good enough to cause an opposing player with the puck to swerve uncharacteristically or fumble puck. I am glad Ovechkin is outwardly stating that he will remain aggressive to perpetuate that reputation, but I am sure, inwardly, he agrees with the rest of us.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 2, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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