Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was suspended for two games on Tuesday following a knee-on-knee hit during Monday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The hit was to Tim Gleason of the Hurricanes and it managed to take out both players, with Ovie getting the worst of it.
The Capitals announced that Ovechkin was day-to-day following the hit, but the suspension handed down by the league will keep him out of action for at least a pair of games. This marks Ovechkin’s first suspension and some analysts are wondering why it didn’t come sooner.
Ovechkin was ejected from the game on Monday, receiving a five-minute major for kneeing and a misconduct. The ejection marked his second in three games, highlighting the rougher side of one of the league’s most talented players.
The incident with Gleason is far from the only one spotting Ovechkin’s record as a player who often walks the line between rough and dirty play. One doesn’t have to reach too far back in the manual to see incidents that find Ovie taking liberties. October saw an incident with Atlanta’s Rich Peverley and a slew-foot that cost No. 8 $2,500. And Tampa’s Jamie Heward still hasn’t played since Ovechkin sent him head-first into the boards last January.
Last Wednesday, Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta was the victim of another borderline Ovechkin play that saw Alex get ejected after sending Kaleta face-first into the wall.
But is this just par for the course for a player that skates and performers at 100% each and every shift? With Ovie skating as hard and fast as he does, isn’t a little rough play to be expected?
There’s no “proof” that Ovechkin deliberately stuck out his knee on Gleason, as the Canes player clearly was trying to avoid the check. To play the devil’s advocate here, contact damn sure could have been incidental. The Kaleta hit, too, could have been the result of Ovechkin’s hard and fast style of playing. He was clearly aiming for the player’s shoulder when making the hit.
In the end, it may not matter whether Alex Ovechkin is a rough or dirty player. As a superstar, he’s bound to get preferential treatment from a league that needs players like him to sell the game. The truth is that he is an impact player and he leaves it all on the ice in exciting, fast-paced fashion. He is far from a consistently dangerous player, but there are more than enough sore spots on his resume thus far to warrant a second or third look.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.