Strike Three?

December 01, 2009

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Goon Squad

Strike Three?

Yes, I'm an Ovie fan.
He's fun to watch when he is on top of his game.

His show-boat style and wild goal celebrations are entertaining to me.
He may not be the games classiest player, but he does demand our attention, and usually gets it. Good or bad.

However, I am not a fan of dirty, cheap hits, or this double standard that the NHL denies exists.

It's alive and well and we all know it.

This is the second time in a week that Ovie has been in hot water for questionable hits, and I think this time it's karma coming back to get him.

Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason was nailed in a knee on knee hit last night that knocked the Russian star out of the game.

After being scraped up off of the ice, Ovie was was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct.
Gleason was fortunate enough to skate away relatively unharmed.

Considering how Ovechkin was helped off the ice, kicking him out of the game was a moot point.
The punishment wasn’t going to affect him anyway because he wasn’t coming back to play anyhow.
But was that too much for a play that is questionable? Was it not enough for a guy that has started to pile up the questionable hits? Should reputation figure into the decision-making process?

Colin Campbell is going to have his hands full in deciding what, if anything, will be done to punish Ovie for this one.
People are already debating whether or not Ovechkin hit Gleason knee-on-knee on purpose or not and whether or not suspending him will do anything to "send a message" to him at all.

The league is in a tough spot here because if they suspend him the ticket buyers in Washington and elsewhere the Caps play on the road in the coming week (Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo) and the fans there might be upset that they won’t get to see him put on a show.

The other side of it is if he’s injured, for whatever amount of time, what good is a suspension to him anyhow?
He’s probably going to miss a few games anyhow, so what good does tacking on a game or two do for sending the message that the league doesn’t have and hide behind the non existant double standard?

As it stands now, Ovechkin may be getting an MRI on his knee and looks like he could miss time with his injury.
Will that play a role in Campbell’s decision-making process?
Probably. But it will be denied.

Someone has to be made an example of. Why not start here?
That way, if and when it happens again, he'll have it on his record and will be considered a repeat offender.

Who knows, we just might see the end of the double standard issue here, and be one step closer at removing those dangerous head shots and losing that idiotic instigator rule once and for all.

Keywords: Hockey

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