Posts tagged “Alexander Ovechkin”

All Star Game Martyrs

So glad the flawless records of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk had to be sullied by The Suspension so that the League could soften its stance on All Star Game attendance over time. I guess it’s good that outcries and bad publicity worked? But this is some smelly bull.

This is not two of the League’s elder statesmen quietly declining and being allowed to skip out. This is an able-bodied young face of the League pouting and getting away with it.

Can we get those suspensions expunged from the record, though?

Not There Yet

In reading this Alexander Ovechkin profile in the NYT’s Magazine, I was struck by this line:

He is such a powerful skater that he can cover the distance from the blue line to the goal in just a couple of strides, and scores a lot of goals simply by barreling down the left side, dangling the puck for an instant, the way Mark Messier used to, and then snapping off a wrist shot that is one of the hardest in the game.

I dunno; something about having to compare one of the most compelling players in the game today to a guy most people reading will only remember because of what he did in 1994 tells me the sport has a long way to go.

You know: “Remember the last time you cared about hockey, there was this guy Mark Messier? This new guy might remind you of him in some ways. Will you please watch?”

Despite the game being faster, more explosive and a greater display of athleticism than ever before, we’re still stuck hearkening back to ye olde days to try to recapture what little glory the sport gained in before the mid-way point of the 90s. Kind of depressing.

Also, I’m drawn to a (maybe) weak comparison between the NHL and the Detroit automakers. Not that the NHL ever had the dominance the Big Three had, but somewhere along the way, the broader market got lost. With the Big Three, quality and fuel economy are obvious points. With the NHL, the trap, poorly thought-out expansion and the Lockout were big. In both cases, both loyalists and casual consumers turned away with a sense of betrayal.

For both, maybe working on appealing to the younger set, rather than the older one that remembers the problems, will led to a return. Less “This guy’s today’s Wayne Gretzky/Mark Messier” and more “Look at our game today. Faster, more physical and more skilled top-to-bottom than ever before.” Or something.

Anyway. This turn out to be longer than I intended. </pensive post>

Oh, Good

A few NHLers I spoke with this week about Ovechkin were upset at his actions and offered up comments such as, “He’ll get his,” and, “His day is coming.”

Uh, right, because that’s the right response, guys. Meh, the high ground’s harder to take, anyway, right?

And good luck with that. He seems to have pretty solid survival instincts to have avoided the outcomes of such ominous statements by likely League knuckle-draggers to this point…

One More: Mirtle on Ovechkin/Campbell

Last one (probably). Just couldn’t ignore what James says here.

That play, call it a push if you will, is always a penalty – and often a severe one – in hockey. I’ve seen that called my entire life, in the WHL, when I played in house league, in the NHL – everywhere. There’s very, very little grey there; it’s as black and white as it gets.

A convincing framing of the issue—it’s brought me around. I have to admit, given Ovechkin’s repeat offender status, the suspension makes sense.

I was a bit stupefied by the NHL letting Cooke walk while punishing Ovechkin, but after further thought, what I said about the Richards incident after the Cooke announcement applies here: a previous wrong doesn’t justify another one.

Ovechkin Facing Suspension Due to Campbell Injuries

Via Bob McKenzie:

I will be surprised if Ovechkin is not suspended for a couple of games. Campbell’s injury is the big factor now.

Campbell reportedly suffered a broken clavicle and rib on the play.

Gotta say I disagree with the reasoning that says you determine a suspension based on the results of the play. To me, a hit is bad whether or not the victim happened to get injured. The results of a dirty hit can be a coin toss. Does the fact that a player escaped without injury absolve the hitter of responsibility for making the hit? I don’t think so.

As far as I’m concerned, intent needs to be the biggest factor. The Cooke hit wasn’t bad because it injured Savard. It was bad because there was clear intent to injure. Had Savard somehow managed to escape without a concussion, I’d still be appalled the NHL didn’t suspend Cooke.

As for this case, I just don’t think you can argue there was intent. Suspend him for being reckless and too stupid to know when to hold up, but don’t base it on Campbell’s injury.