Blog Entry

Two wrongs, no rights

Posted on: March 16, 2010 11:06 am
  •  
 

Maybe Colin Campbell figured he could make up for letting Matt Cooke off the hook last week by sticking it to Alex Ovechkin.

Maybe the league’s judge and jury thought he was could send a message about recklessness by using a superstar who often displays that tendency to set an example.

Or maybe Campbell just hoped he could restore some of the league’s credibility when it comes to discipline by suspending Ovechkin for two games after he ruined Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell’s season by shoving him from behind into the boards.

Then again, maybe Colin Campbell should have known better because in the end, he accomplished none of the above. Missing a couple of games may cost Ovechkin another goal scoring title, but ultimately it will be meaningless to a player who will be that much fresher come playoff time because of it. And it will have no impact on his Washington Capitals who have already clinched their Southeast Division and are still the odds-on favorite to finish first overall in the league.

If league’s head of hockey operations really wanted to get the attention of those around the league who tend not to think before they act, he would have thrown the book at Ovechkin by handing down more than a token suspension. He could have easily justified it because the Washington star forward was ejected from the game for needlessly sending the Blackhawks defenseman into the boards in a nationally televised game Sunday, the third time this season he has been sent to an early shower.

That makes him a repeat offender, which is the way Campbell described Ovechkin in the official announcement of his punishment. Technically though, the Capitals captain escaped an automatic suspended for a second boarding major because it has been more than 41 games since the last one.

Ovechkin wasn’t made to sit for sending Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta head first into the boards in late November, but he got two games for kneeing Carolina’s Tim Gleason a week later. And Ovechkin has a history of cheap shots that include a knee-on-knee against Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar in last spring’s playoffs and a slew foot this season on Atlanta’s Rich Peverley. He can be, and often is a dangerous player.

But so are a lot of players like Cooke or Tampa Bay’s Steve Downie, who could have caused some serious damage to Sidney Crosby’s by wrapping his leg around the Penguins superstar as he was taking him down Sunday.

Ovechkin’s latest incident, however, was border line at best. Chicago’s Campbell had already gotten rid of the puck and might have been off balance as was turning when Ovechkin shoved – not crosschecked -- and sent him into the boards.  And chances are if Campbell had not broken his clavicle and some ribs, the boarding major and game misconduct to Ovechkin would have been the end of it.

But that wouldn’t have satisfied those around the league who want blood. And neither does the two games, although there are just as many who think that a suspension wasn’t really merited in this case. Particularly since Pittsburgh’s Cooke got away with putting the career of Boston’s Marc Savard in jeopardy with an ugly, blind side hit to the head.

The irony is that Campbell made the decision not to punish Cooke immediately after the conclusion of the league’s general managers meeting last week, when they voted to recommend for stiff penalties for precisely those kinds of hits. In that case, Campbell was applying the letter of the law that said Cooke’s hit was legal under current rules.

That decision didn’t satisfy anyone. Neither will this one. And it won’t make a difference either.

 

  •  
Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:45 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

The NHL needs to do a better job protecting it's players.  The NFL has seen the importance of protecting the QB, albeit probably too much, but still they have taken steps.  When a star player like Ovechkin gets preferential treatment, the silly 2 game suspension for his hit on Brian Campbell, the league shows that it does not have an interest in the safety of its players.  If the hit were the other way around and Campbell had put Ovechkin into the boards, would the suspension been different?  If it had come down hard on Ovechkin for previous reckless play, then perhaps Brian Campbell is on the ice today.



Since: Jan 22, 2010
Posted on: March 18, 2010 2:04 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

, you're just a complete moron.  You MUST be from Canada.  THAT is Canadian Rheteric if I ever heard it.  Not that I don't have love for Canadians but like Mike Milbury, a lot seem to think they are better than everyone else in hockey.



Since: Jan 22, 2010
Posted on: March 18, 2010 1:55 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

 YOU are the homer.  Ovie's hit was NOT reckless, it was like most other checks into the boards.  I'll give you the 2 min. minor for boarding.  Had Campbell not hit his toe pick on the ice he would have harmlessly bounced into the boards and maybe no call made.  To say he has no remorse, again, emphasizes your stupidity.  As soon as Alex got up he acknowledged the hit and waived to Campbell.  He STAYED on the ice near him to see if he was OK.  He apoligized, several times, after the game saying he was sorry for injuring him and he had no intent to hurt him, he's just playing the game.  Don't hate the player, hate the game.



Since: Jan 22, 2010
Posted on: March 18, 2010 1:42 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

well put!



Since: Jan 22, 2010
Posted on: March 18, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

Goldstein, you're an IDIOT if you think Ovechkin is in the same league as Cooke or Downie.  How DARE you called the game's most skilled player a cheapshot artist.  Cooke and Downie, classic examples of cheapshot artists!  Alex isn't looking to blindisde anyone.  He plays hockey with passion and physical prowess.  He has NO intention of injuring anyone.  I've seen every game of Ovie's as a Cap.  If you want to throw stones you'd better take a better look at the man.  He wants to win and he knows hurting his team (by taking penalties) will NOT help them win!!



Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: March 17, 2010 9:11 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

Ovechkin is just another Russian slob. like Putin. like Ovechkin. you cant expect anything more from these Neanderthals



Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: March 16, 2010 3:21 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

GoCaps08 - Huh? What planet do you live on?  Malkin has a history of slewfooting and dirty hits....what???  Gonchar is dirty??? what??? If anything, those are the two CLEANEST players in the league.  Heck, Pens fans would LOVE to see Gonch get a little physical just once, but that's not his game.   I suggest you fly back to that planet you live on.  Ovie's run at Malkin and knee on knee on Gonchar were both clearly dirty and both had intent to injure..deal with it.

HabFan - THANK YOU!!!  My goodness, finally, someone that cannot be accused of homerism on these boards defends Crosby from all the jealous haters that have no relevance.  Man, that was refreshing to see.

Farmgirl - I actually think you make some good points and tried very hard to remain objective.  The homer comment was unwarranted.

As for Ovie:

1. I didn't think the hit was dirty (Cooke's was)
2. I don't think he deserved a suspension (but he does take cheap shots, so if it makes him reconsider, it is good for the game)

That's all.



Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: March 16, 2010 3:20 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

I saw Ovechkin's hit on Sunday.  There was nothing malicious about it.  The guy was neither vulnerable at the time of the hit, or near the boards, really.  Ovie was just playing hard.  I think the suspension was fair, or if unfair, unfair against Ovechkin.

The Cooke and Richards hits weren't against the rules at the time they happened, so I'm not sure why they were even brought up here.  They are illegal now, let's talk about the next one.

The fact that Ovechkin "escaped an automatic suspension" is, again, clearly within the rules, and how the rules were intended.

This article has a very negative tone and addresses something that isn't close to being a new issue, nor is this recent rash of borderline hits something that is more aggregious than we have seen in the past. 

This article should be titled: "One close to borderline, one within the rules, and the league doesn't punish for legal and close to legal hits"????

I don't get it.  Show me Todd Bertuzzi,  Chris Simon, or Marty McCleary using the stick and I will be outraged.  Show me Ulf Samuelsonn or Alex Ovechkin taking cheap shots with knees and I will be outraged.  Show me Matt Cooke, Mike Richards and Alex Ovechkin skating hard, playing hard, and hitting hard all mostly within the rules, and I will be confused as to what you expect league to do about it.  The results of the hits are extremely unfortunate, but I don't see how you can compare hits that are within the rules to clearly malicious hits.





Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2010 3:15 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

By definition hitting a guy from behind into the boards is an attempt to injure under the new rules. You don't have to see what was inside Ovechkin's head to know that his hit was an attempt to injure by the fact that he broke this simple rule. With Cooke, the hit was on open ice and he may have been attempting to hit Savard's shoulder and missed. Pushing a guy down from behind is not completing a check, hitting a guy with your shoulder is. I don't even like Cooke but I can see why the league decided the way they did. Once they do formulate a new rule for hits to the head, Cooke would be riding the pines for the same infraction.



Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: March 16, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Two wrongs, no rights

Bertrando,
Ovechkin did release a public apology.  I agree with you on the hit being Reckless, but not malicious.  But don't discredit him as lacking remorse.  If you want to see the release, check out nhl.com (www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=521581 )


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