Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/30/09 at 09:46 PM ET
Alex Ovechkin has been given a five minute major and a game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit on the Canes’ Tim Gleason. This is the second major penalty for Ovechkin in less than a week. On Wednesday, he was given a five minute major and game misconduct for boarding Patrick Kaleta of the Sabres. Here’s the knee-on-knee hit with Gleason:
Ovechkin wasn’t suspended after the Kaleta incident, presumably because Kaleta wasn’t seriously injured. In a bizarre twist, Kaleta himself was suspended for two games after he was guilty of boarding the Flyers’ Jared Ross on Friday.
Double standard? Sure. When you’re a superstar, you get special treatment.
Although Ovechkin wasn’t suspended for the Kaleta hit, he’s automatically on probation. He must go 41 consecutive games without another boarding major, or he will face a mandatory one game suspension. Apparently, he doesn’t care about that. He told the Washington Post:
“I can’t do nothing about it. I just play my game. I’m not going to change. It’s me.”
It’s time that Collie Campbell stopped being a wimp and throws the book at a superstar. If this is anyone else in the league, there is no doubt that the offending player is suspended. The NHL, though, has a longstanding agreement that superstars aren’t disciplined the same way fourth-line wingers are. After all, they don’t want a Ricard Riot on their hands.
Still, this is two majors in the last four games for Ovie. He’s already said he’s not going to let fear of discipline alter his play, but the league has to do something to protect its players and deter guys from habitually doing things like this.
Last spring, in the playoff series against the Penguins, Ovechkin delivered a nasty knee-on-knee hit to Sergei Gonchar. And he got off with nothing more than a minor penalty.
This time, it appears that Ovechkin actually bore the brunt of the collision. There’s no telling what the extent of his injury was, but Gleason returned to the ice after missing just two shifts.
All of this, incidentally, came just minutes after Carolina lost Joe Corvo to injury. Corvo collided with a Caps player leaving the ice, and was accidentally cut on the back of the leg. He was rushed to a hospital for attention.
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David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.