Repeat Offender, Reckless Ovechkin Needs to Stop Playing Dirty

I think we have all seen the nasty hit that Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin gave Chicago Blackhawks forward Brian Campbell during Saturday night’s game. Campbell was down on the ice for several minutes before being ushered off by team doctors while Ovechkin sat in the penalty box waiting to serve his five minute major. After reviewing the play, referees declared the hit “reckless” which led to his ejection from the game and a two-game suspension by the NHL.

Ovechkin didn’t just shake up Campbell, his hit caused a broken collar bone and broken ribs, not to mention an early end to his season. But what does this to the NHL? The main reason people say they don’t watch hockey is because of the violence. They don’t want their children subjected to that. So when Ovechkin, one of the best players in the league, blatantly tries to injure an opponent, doesn’t that turn people even further away from hockey? Ovechkin even tried to defend his hit:

“It was not a hard hit,” Ovechkin said. “I just pushed him. It’s a moment in the game. I don’t think it has to be five minutes or something like that. I just feel bad. That’s it.”

No matter what the real intention was, I think that if you are the captain of your hockey team you need to own up to your actions. That’s what real leadership is. Besides, this isn’t the first time Ovi has done this. He’s now a repeat offender in the league’s eyes, and maybe he should get a reality “check” and know that you can win without playing dirty.

Cap’s Oveckin banned two games for Campbell hit [NHL.com]

Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I think what Ovechkin said about the hit initially made the most sense. It’s the result that looks bad, not the action. If Campbell hadn’t fallen as badly nor been injured the way he was, nobody would look at the actual hit as anything more than one sending him to the penalty box. We’re results oriented, not process-oriented.

  • Dieselden

    I believe Larry Brown has got it right and I couldn’t have stated the case better myself. If Campbell would not have caught a “toe pick”, he wouldn’t have gone down. It would have simply been a hard check into the boards, a common place event.

    How about giving the guy who has done more to bring unbridled enthusiasm back into the game than anyone else, an even break.

  • Amy Kay

    First of all, hockey skates do not have toe picks. Second, this is not the first dangerous hit that Ovechkin has delivered this season. Campbell was skating full speed and didn’t catch anything on the ice. You push someone that hard from behind while they are skating that fast, they will go down regardless. It was unnecessary and has left a pretty nice sized hole on the Blackhawks bench. Ovechkin needs to man up and stop playing at such a low level. People might start to call him the next Bertuzzi.

  • SpinMax

    This is ridiculous, this happens every hockey game. 2 minute penalty. If any hockey player doesn’t at least put some contact on that guy he gets called out later for not hitting or finishing his check. that’s ingrained over and over to hit the opposition every chance because that’s how you win hockey games. this just happened to be the rare circumstance of him losing his edge and hitting the boards just right that he got injured.

    why do people watch MMA? violence?

  • Erin Redmond

    MMA/UFC are completely different. People watch it because it’s violent. Those sports are based on fighting. Hockey on the other hand has a deep connection with fighting, but it’s not required in order to win.

    Ovi really seemed like he was intending to hurt Campbell, and this isn’t the first time. He’s a repeat offender. He plays dirty, and maybe that’s why he’s the Caps captain-because of his “done anything to win” attitude. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win, there’s nothing wrong with being aggressive and there’s nothing wrong with being a leader for your team. But there’s is something wrong when you push a guy-not check-but push him down when he’s unbalanced to begin with and end his season. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Daniel Malwitz

    I have seen this hit happen almost every game, but it is only called if someone gets injured. It seems like the majority of checks nowadays behind the net and goal line are hits from behind. Most players don’t get injured because they catch themselves with their gloves. I have seem much worse checks, but the player is fine and no penalty is assessed, because the player catches himself and knows the hit is coming. I love Campbell, as I am from Buffalo, but he should have know a hit was coming and should have protected himself. If the league didn’t suspend Matt Cooke for the hit on Mark Savard, they shouldn’t have suspended Ovechkin. I wouldn’t have had a problem with it if Cooke did the suspended, but the inconsistent rulings are definitely getting on my nerves the past few years.

  • Brad in DC

    I was reading you comments and was like, why they hating on Ov. So i went and watched the hit over and over again. Ov did not hit him dirty. Before you say anything go analyze it yourself. Ov tried to just board him but Campbells cut away from the puck left him in an awkward position at a high speed for the boards. This was a simple but hard shove from Ov which is performed multiple times a game by lots of players. The NHL should of never suspended him for this. If they are going to suspend for it then it needs to be done even when the defender skates away from the same type of push. Shut your mouth haters. We finally have a Star in DC and now you want to take it away. He is the Best player in the league at his position.

  • Fred Evil

    Amy Kay, I invite you to review the slow motion video of the hit. JUST before Ovechkin makes contact, Campbell’s right foot makes a sharp change in direction. What is sometimes referred to as a ‘toe pick.’ You are correct, hockey skates do not have a toe ‘pick,’ there are two different meanings, with the same language. However, this ‘pick’ likely would have resulted in Campbell falling anyways, considering his speed and angle of approach. Furthermore, Ovechkin did not really push him that hard, if he wanted to, Ovechkin could have put a LOT more force into that push, and FINISHED the check. He didn’t, he pulled up. It looked to me like it was an unfortunate combination of a pick, and Ovie being a bit too aggressive in the chase.

    I’m a Caps fan, I make no bones about it, but I can admit Ovie plays at that ragged edge, and occasionally makes some overly-aggressive, or out-of-control moves (which I prefer to blame on his competitiveness, or youthful enthusiasm). His knee-on-knee hit in particular I thought was more egregious than this by far, he’s lucky he didn’t end his OWN season, or career, much less someone else’s. And the NHL probably has as much interest in protecting Ovie’s safety as well as everyone else with these suspensions. But he’s easy to market, and fun to watch.
    Unfortunately for Campbell, he suffered some pretty bad injuries from a push that should have been a double-minor at MOST, but once combined with that loss of balance on Campbell’s part, Ovie’s push ended far worse than it should. I’d be pissed if it happened to Green, no doubt. But were I honest, I couldn’t call it a dirty hit in the slightest.

  • http://yardbarker.com Jason Paul

    Amy, first- Fred is EXACTLY right. It is a move taught to players when hit to have penalties called and to believe it or not, stop them from breaking their neck on the boards. Ovie plays hard and gets results from his play. He intimidates his competition and with hits that rattle peoples cages he takes players out of the game without hitting them. Even saying the name Bertuzzi in the same sentence makes you a hockey moron. When the injured player says it should have been a standard play where he didn’t get hurt, it makes you sound even worse.

    Daniel and Brad are also correct. That hit happens 6 to 10 times per game without a penalty being called. Know the sport then speak about it Amy.

    As for the rest of the Ovie haters, you are just that, haters. Stop saying every hit is dirty. Oh he tried to hurt Jagr, what about the BLATANT hits against Ovie, Semin, and Backstrom that have gone uncalled on a consistant basis? If Crosby was as good as Ovie and was doing the same, you would say he was playing tough hockey. Crosby isn’t even this best player on that team. Malkin will be with the Caps next year and so will a big name goalie. Start using the word Dynasty when you talk about the Caps!!