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Video: Alex Ovechkin Gets Dennis Wideman’s Back After Tuomo Ruutu Hit

When we write about Alexander Ovechkin, he usually just spent a lovely evening carving up an entire defense and scoring.  That’s what superstars do.  Because players like Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are capable of such feats, their teammates tend to go to extreme measures to protect them on the ice.  If you hit one of those guys, you automatically slap a target on your own back.  Apparently Ovechkin is willing to return the favor, as he displayed Tuesday night after Tuomo Ruutu hit Dennis Wideman.  Check it out:

We know Ovechkin has a temper, but it’s nice to see superstars go out of their way to defend a teammate.  Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with just putting a lick on Ruutu to send a message — he kept going after him.  Guys like that are the ones you want on the ice with you, for reasons other than their scoring ability. Thanks to The Big Lead for the video.

Zdeno Chara Check Knocks Out Max Pacioretty (Video)

File this one under freak accident. Unless Zdeno Chara has pin-point accuracy in his attempts to hurt other players and knows how to use the structure of the rink to injure people, there’s no way the hit he put on Montreal’s Max Pacioretty during Tuesday night’s Bruins-Habs game was intentional. Canadiens fans will certainly argue otherwise, but watch the footage.  Fortunately, Pacioretty is said to be okay after the hit.  Check out the Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty knockout video, courtesy of NESN:

Chara was given a five-minute major, but only because Pacioretty was hurt so badly.  Had the same play happened at any other spot on the ice, the result would not have been a disaster and Chara may have even avoided a penalty.  We’re all glad Pacioretty is okay and nobody ever wants to see something like that happen, but it would be a shame to see the NHL suspend Chara for an unfortunate coincidence. The main thing we should learn from this incident is that the NHL needs to pad the area that separates the team benches. With guys flying around at such high speeds, it’s not safe to have rock solid glass and steel jetting out from the bench area. This injury is a tough way to figure that out.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Arriving Means Hits are Getting Harder

The last couple weeks, NHL players seem to be hitting each other harder and harder. In some cases, like the hit laid on Chicago Blackhawk Brent Seabrook by James Wisniewski a few nights ago, they are literally knocking players out cold. But what’s with all the hard hits lately fellas? I might know the answer.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a few weeks away and the pressure is on. I don’t know exactly what is going through the mind of players like Wisniewski. I don’t know if he intentionally tried to lay Seabrook out like a sack of potatoes or if he was “in the moment” and feeling aggressive. But Seabrook isn’t the only hit that’s been like this lately. There’s also his teammate Brian Campbell (who is now out for the season) and Boston Bruins Marc Savard who was knocked out a couple weeks back. These hits are proof that the players aren’t messing around and they will be as aggressive as they have to so that they can be the ones hoisting up the Stanley Cup in just a few weeks time.

Although I’m all for being aggressive, I think these guys need to be smart about it. When you are headed towards another player and you’re ready to hit him with all you can, remember that you can injure yourself in the process, too. If these NHL players keep making these reckless hits they are not only going to injure their opponent but themselves as well, and then picking up that Stanley Cup will be a difficult task when you have a broken arm.

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.

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