Blog Entry

The easy way out

Posted on: December 1, 2009 5:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2009 6:04 pm


Me thinks the NHL’s chief disciplinarian owes a big thank you to Tim Gleason.  You know, for sucking it up.

See the Carolina Hurricanes defenseman missed only two shifts from the knee-on-knee hit delivered Monday by Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and seen on all kinds of highlight reels since. And that made it a whole lot easier for Colin Campbell to limit the league’s best player to a two-game suspension.

It could have been longer. Campbell nailed Montreal’s Georges Laraque with five games a couple of weeks ago for a knee-on-knee mainly because it sidelined Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall for the next two months. But since Gleason wasn’t hurt, and Campbell didn’t feel obliged to follow that precedent.


Obviously the league doesn’t really want its most dynamic attraction sitting out. But Ovechkin always plays close to the edge and often over it, enough for his own coach to calls him “reckless,” so Campbell couldn’t avoid punishing the two-time MVP entirely. He’s done that too often in the past, keeping Ovechkin from being branded a repeat offender, but only because his previous indiscretions – and there have been several – have drawn slaps on the wrist.

Ovechkin has been fined what is the equivalent of pocket change at different times in his career for slew foots and hits from behind. But he’s never been suspended, even when he took Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar out of two playoff games last spring with a knee-on-knee hit.

This time, there was no choice if only to help dispel the perception that different rules apply to Stars and fringe players.

Campbell had to suspend the Capitals superstar, just not for too long. Thanks to Gleason.

Category: NHL

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 1:10 pm

The easy way out

I am not a hater, I am a big fan of OV, the toughest player since Messier.

Knee on knee happens all the time, sometimes accidental and somtimes not. Laraque did it and got 5 games. In the whole scheme of things it was the same exact type of play. So if you are saying "Why whould he do that?" - that it was unintentional about Ovechkin, then you have to say the same about Laraque's hit on Kronwall. No way you can justify it on either.

This isnt the first time OV has done something like this, he isnt ever going tp be the front runner for the Lady Bing. He is just as dirty as anyone in the league, and he definitely gets a pass at times because of his place in the game.

He still has a lot of years left. Hopefully he stops the nonsensical stuff he does, bcause he doesnt need to do it. Unfortunately, whats going to end up happning is that he is going to do it again and get really hurt (like he almost did the other night). Or he is going to really hurt someone else. Or someone is going to retaliate and go head hunting for him. Eventually, someone will catch him.

Thsi behavior can only mean bad things for him.

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 1:00 pm

The easy way out

I am neither a Caps or Pens fan, and this is what I have to say about the hit:  1.)  Gleason should never have to pass the puck and take the hit if he can deke out an opponent, make no mistake, he deked Ovie, and whomever said he just have just taken the crushing hit is stupid 2.)  Ovie did in fact lead with his leg when checking Gleason, it is not apparent from one angle but viewed from multiple angles it is very apparent 3.)  I dont think Ovie intenionally tried to do this, why would anyone stick their knee out knowing you could injure yourself and the other player?  4.)  Ovie has a history of doing this and needs to learn to let guys just go instead of making a check with your legs, the suspension was warranted and would have been more if Gleason had gotten hurt (see Georges Laraque who unintentionally knee'd Krownall after he was deked out of his jock)  5.) In general, almost every kneeing incident in the NHL is unintentional.  As a hockey player, when you get deked by someone in open ice, it is an instinct to stick your leg out and still get a piece of the guy, because you are already engaged in a checking motion.   Doesnt make it right, it is still wrong and the players have to not follow your instincts in these situations.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2009 11:40 am

The easy way out

So Ovie would put himself at risk of serious injury by attacking another player with his knee?  Just ponder that for a moment.....Why whould he do that?  I don't think he would.  It was just a unfortunate hit that I can't imagine was intentional. 

So let the haters hate......

Since: Apr 14, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2009 11:06 am

The easy way out

Look at it from a slightly different angle:  What if Gleason had stayed in line for the hit?  It would have been on the highlite reel for a week, maybe the season.

As a Caps homer, I love watching the man play. 

Does he get carried away sometimes?  Yes. 

Is he deliberately trying to hurt opponents?  No.

What these Ovie haters forget, having a passion and heart for the game, his teammates, and his fans makes him the very best.

I would say to Ovie: "Make the goalies pay, don't bother with the iffy checks.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 11:05 am

The easy way out

To everyone...blah blah blah...blah blah blah.  I'll look forward to the next 100 posts that say the same things that the first 20 did.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2009 9:41 am

The easy way out

First of all Capital and Penguins fans opinions don't count because most pens fans will trash him no matter what and most Caps fans will defend him to the end of the Earth. What I will say is that why would he stick his leg out to take a knee to knee hit on purpsoe? To me in a knee to knee collision both players have a high chance of getting injured and in Ovi's case with him flying around his would probably be higher! So does it make sense to say he tried to do it? Com'on!!

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2009 9:38 am


Ovechkin is a punk.  All that talent.  Best two way player in the game, bar none.  And a punk. 

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 9:13 am

The easy way out

I am not a caps fan, but I think OV is the best player in the game. I just watched the video about 10 times from different angles. In each angle, it looks like OV is going for the body check with the shoulder....gleason moves to his left to avoid the check... and OV sticks out his knee. Dirty play and definitely worthy of a two game suspension, no more, no less.

Ovechkin is day to day with an injury from it, so probably would have gotten time off anyway. My guess is Campbell took the low road on this one, knowing OV might be out anyway and suspended him. I'd have liked to see what Cambell would have meted out if OV wasnt hurt. I doubt he gets suspended, but I guess we will never know.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2009 8:50 am

The easy way out

Hey, Goldstein:  while you're talking about Tim Gleason, how about the idea that he could be captain of the team next year (Brind'Amour certainly won't be in a Hurricanes sweater by then)?  Gleason has been the team's best d-man this year and has even shown a little offensive skill, a la Anton Babchuk from last year.  He seems like a calming presence out there, but he's also one of the first Canes to fight if someone disrespects a skill player.  He certainly shows more heart and leadership than Staal!

So how about it, Wes?  Gleason for captain?

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2009 8:44 am

The easy way out

No, rhythmnation (you like Janet, huh?), Ovechkin DID "lead with the leg" -- it means he stuck his leg out with the intention of either tripping or, more likely, spearing Gleason with his knee.  You know, the hard, bony part of the leg.  It's like an elbow, but bigger and on the leg.  We don't condone elbowing, so we also don't allow kneeing.  It's very simple and it's plain to see when someone tries to do it.  Number 8 did, and lucky for him he's a superstar or he'd be on Laraque time.

I don't think he can change his game, at this point.  Maybe when he turns 30 and loses a step, he'll adjust to a slower, more balanced game, but until then (or an injury -- you just know there are guys in the NHL marking time until they can get a good shat at him), Ovechkin will continue to play this way whether Campbell disciplines him or not.  That's his game.

Look, every hockey fan would kill to get Ovie on their team.  But I don't think anyone but a Capitals fan would say they are really proud when he pulls this kind of crap.  He's a hard player to watch sometimes.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or