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Boudreau: "The boards caused the damage"

Since Bruce Boudreau's quote from Tuesday morning was used up by the AP, figure we might as well put it up in this spot. A TV reporter mentioned to Boudreau how Alex's boarding penalty wouldn't have been a bad hit in center ice, which I suppose is true enough, and asked about how to balance that reality with the physical nature of the game.

"You're right," Boudreau said. "I'm thinking that Alex is pushing, thinking [Brian Campbell's] falling harmlessly behind the net. If [Campbell] doesn't take that step...if you've ever watched Benny Hill on a bike, take that right turn and fall flat onto his face. I think that's pretty well what happened. You know, if Matt Cooke's hit on Savard was two feet from the boards and then he goes into the boards, then they've got means for a suspension. So I don't know. I just know there was no malice intended. He didn't go to hurt him. He went to hit him and he hit him, but the hit didn't cause the damage. The boards caused the damage, in my mind. And I feel bad for [Campbell]."

Boudreau also said several times, in front of cameras and not, that Ovechkin was extremely disheartened. I asked whether he had seen him like this before.

"I know he was down after the first suspension, and maybe I think he legitimately really didn't think that anything was gonna happen to him [this week], so it was more of a shock," Boudreau said. "The first one, the knee on knee with Gleason, coming on the heels of last spring with Gonchar...he was more nervous. I think he was genuinely surprised that he got a suspension this time."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Next: The Caps without Ovechkin


Stupid boards.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 16, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Boards have caused many injuries, yet they have never been suspended or even fined! I'll bet they're made in Canada...

Posted by: junkiwonteverread | March 16, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't like how the media is reporting Ovechkin's apology. says, "Ovechkin sorry for hit". I think this is a complete distortion! I doubt Ovechkin is sorry for the hit itself. He is sorry that an injury came of it, just like with most situations involving an injury.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 16, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess the NHL needs to talk to to Nascar about installing SAFER barriers on the boards like what was done in the concrete barriers at the racetracks.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | March 17, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Just for the heck of it I counted 5 similar hits as Ovechkins last night between watching the Caps game and the Isles/canucks game. Of course the only difference again was no one slipped and no one got hurt.

Posted by: cappies | March 17, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

While watching the game last night I saw hit, similar to Ovie's on Campbell...but I guess the catch is there wasn't an injury.

Either way...great game Caps...keep it up!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Given the resulting injury, I'm not sure Benny Hill would be an appropriate analogy, coach.

Also, the boards injured Campbell? Why stop there? Let's blame Newton and his laws of physics! Lousy gravity and inertia. The boards caused the damage - that's why they call it boarding!

How long before we see t-shirts that read, "The boards don't injure defensemen - Ovechkin does."

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 17, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@ Mike Wise's column...

Mike Wise, I am not trying to be disrespectful here, but please stick to covering a sport you know about. You're a relatively smart guy, but you're a "hockey in general" idiot. I am quoting your column here: "But the more he takes runs at people who are nowhere near the puck".

Mike, have you ever actually watched a Caps game? A hockey game? OV doesn't take runs at people who are nowhere near the puck, and you would know that if you actually watched and understood. And why would anyone try to tell this guy how to play the game?! He's getting paid to do something he loves to do. He's playing a contact sport, and he is very good at it. Excuse him!

The media is helping the NHL talking heads turn this game into figureskating. Please stop. It's not what we as fans want to see. IT'S A CONTACT SPORT!!! People pay good money to see the games as they were meant to be played. People play these games at their own risk, and they know the risks. Let them earn their money the right way or let them choose another career path.

Why do people insist that everything and anything that can or could hurt us be governed by other people??? WTF is that? Where is the freedom in that???

Posted by: sca187 | March 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau is just plain wrong. i guess he feels he has to publicly spew this crap.

Posted by: doughless | March 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

sca, sorry buddy you're displaying your hockey ignorance here - you can't hit somebody from behind in hockey, especially not into the end boards. USA Hockey says its an automatic game. You can support Ovie, he just made a mistake, hopefully he learns.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau is just plain wrong. i guess he feels he has to publicly spew this crap.

Posted by: doughless | March 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't stick up for Boudreau often but how is he wrong here? He's dead on. Esp about the Cooke hit. If that hit had been near the boards then Savard would've ended up cracking his head on the boards and maybe hurt his shoulder/ribs/collarbone. Apparently thats the new criteria for suspensions.

and about not being able to hit someone from behind into the boards..For one, the Ovy hit was not directly from behind, and it wasn't right near the boards. It was momentum and being offbalance that caused Campbell to fall into the boards. That shouldn't be Ovechkin's fault. He's supposed to mentally calibrate this in the blink of an eye? Come on!

Semin got drilled in the 3rd pd from behind and the only thing that stopped him from going into the boards was that he was standing still so his momentum wasn't a factor but he could have easily slid into the boards also. At some point you have to draw the line as to if a hit is legal depending on the distance away from the boards regardless of the end result.

And hitting from behind IS legal as far as I can tell. Clipping in football means something totally different in hockey.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 17, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

PS. When I was 9 we had a great Squirt travel team - came in 2nd overall in New England. The one time I ever saw my dad - who had a bad temper, but almost never behind the bench - lose it as a coach was in tryouts when one of my best friends drilled another kid from behind, into the boards. Billy knew he was dead-wrong - and he was 9 years old. We all did.

Yes, hockey's a rough game, but there are certain no-nos - and hitting a guy from behind - especially when he's anywhere near the end boards - is absolutely one of them. Ask any hockey player that - and if he doesn't say the same, odds are he ain't much of a player.

I missed the Semin hit - but I'm not surprised. The pro-Canadian bias displayed by the refs - and Colin Campbell - needs to be addressed, and soon.

Posted by: govtimbo | March 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow ... evidently Boudreau will say anything to protect his meal ticket.

Posted by: Rpal | March 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Reading Mike Wises columns and hearing Boudreau ... you can't help but think the stereotype of Washington as hockey bumpkins ..

Posted by: Rpal | March 17, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

the Canadian comspiracies, Crosby conspiracies .. 'everyones out to get OV' conspiracies, etc etc is just more evidence of Washingtons' hockey heathenism ...

Posted by: Rpal | March 17, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

had the caps not been next scheduled to play Colin Campbell's son's team (trying for the playoffs), no way Ovi is suspended. Two games was just a lame attempt to try and make it less obvious.

Posted by: festus75 | March 17, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

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