In the early part of Monday evening, news has come down from the NHL that Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin will be susoended three games for a hit in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ovechkin will miss Tuesday’s game against the Boston Bruins and division games after the All Star Break against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. As of now, Ovechkin will stay play in the All-Star game itself but has imposed a self regulated retirement from the skills competition.
As far as the hit itself, was it dirty? In all truth it was vicious hit… and yes, it was dirty. The disappointing thing is that Ovechkin could have laid Zybnek Michalek out just as easily with a legal hit. The biggest issue that the Disciplinary office took with the play was the fact that Ovechkin left his feet before making contact. If he makes the same play with his skates on the ice, he plows through the player with no violation.
This is a pretty deflating turn of events when you consider Ovechkin is coming off a three-point game and the team currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot. Not to mention center Nicklas Backstrom is still out with concussion like symptoms. Backstrom did skate for a few mins at the Caps practice facility on Monday.
The ony hope is that Ovechkin comes back rested and raring to go. The hit itself is easily corrected, he just needs to play a little smarter while still keeping his intensity level high.
The Capitals are currently languishing well below expectations and will need their Captain and most talented player to bring his A-class game the rest of the year.