Ovechkin Tossed; Suspension Looms?

NBC exec began inflicting wounds on themselves during the first period of Sunday’s Game of the Week. A highly touted match-up between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks was one that some thought could be a preview of this years Stanley Cup Final. P.S. it also featured the world’s greatest hockey player. Alexander Ovechkin has been the league’s second most marketable talent behind the English speaking sensation Sidney Crosby. Ovechkin has displayed his hockey prowess in front of the national audience several times now; this Sunday he grabbed the headlines again, but played less than 5 minutes.

Midway through the first period Ovechkin went deep into the ‘Hawks zone chasing the puck and laid, what first looked like, a brutal hit on defenseman Brian Campbell. Campbell went head first into the boards and did not get up for several minutes. Ovechkin was escorted to the penalty box and eventually given a game misconduct by the refs. The “Great Eight” was tossed from the game for the third time this season.

Typically, an NHL player would cede to rule #23.2 of the NHL Rulebook,which states:

[A]ny player or goalkeeper who incurs a total of three (3) game misconduct penalties… shall be suspended for the next League game of his team


I thought than it would be a foregone conclusion that Ovechkin would be forced to sit out Tuesday against Florida. However, upon closer inspection of the rules I found that a player [that] has played in 41 consecutive regular League games without being assessed a boarding and/or a checking from behind major and a game misconduct… will have the previous game misconduct penalties removed from his current record… it has been 42 games since Ovechkin’s last infraction. Looks like the Caps star has gotten in just under the wire.

After watching the hit dozens of times now, it also looks as though the contact that forced Campbell crashing into the boards was less brutal than I had originally thought. I don’t think the league’s disciplinary committee will act on this most recent transgression. Ovie’s ejection itself was suspect upon further review, at most he should have been given a double minor penalty, but not ejected from the game.

Verdict: Sleep easy Caps fans!


2 Responses to Ovechkin Tossed; Suspension Looms?

  1. Wow, does the NHL suspend anyone anymore? I agree that Ovechkin’s hit did not warrant any penalty more than a double minor, but what about Cooke’s hit on Savard? What game were the officials in that game watching to not even give Cooke a 2 minute penalty. I think those are both prime examples of the refs not knowing what the league actually wants – Campbell and Bettman need to get their refs on board about what rules should be followed and enforced every week…

  2. whitsport says:

    NHL needs to seriously make their minds up. No suspension for Cooke and then two games for Ovie? ya got me! It’s bad for the league to have their most recognizable players out suspended, especially when you’re trying to re-grow the viewership. Hopefully the disciplinary committee gets their heads on straight

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