WASHINGTON -- Mid-way through the second period of Game 4 on Saturday, Capitals captain and star forward Alex Ovechkin was called for charging on Dan Girardi. He only received a two-minute minor on the play.
But the debate in the arena immediately became of whether or not it should have been more. And to whether or not Ovechkin will have to face the wrath of Brendan Shanahan.
First, let's get to the hit.
It seems clear that Ovechkin raises to make the hit on Girardi in center ice, leaving the puck to make the play on Girardi. It's very close in determining if both feet elevated before contact, but if nothing else it's a split-second difference that shouldn't really matter. He lifted to make the hit pretty clearly.
The hit was certainly high on Girardi but appears he was spared of direct contact to the head with the hit initially coming to the shoulder. But the residual contact does seem to get Girardi up high.
That's going to be a point of contention. Did Ovechkin hit Girardi in the head?
"In the head? No, I think it was the shoulder," Ovechkin said. "I just missed the puck. I tried to kick the puck and I saw he was coming so I just tried to protect myself."
His coach Dale Hunter saw pretty much the same thing from his vantage point on the bench.
"I didn't see the replay on it yet but both of them were surprised they hit each other," Hunter explained. "It was incidental contact, they were looking down and hit each other."
Girardi did stay in the game but didn't agree with Ovechkin's shoulder assessment.
"He hit my head a bit there," Girardi said. "I think it was the right call ... My head's kind of there and he hits it but I think he's just playing the game hard, but I don't know."
This isn't Ovechkin's first questionable hit. You'll recall he was suspended three games this season just before the All-Star Game for ... charging. That's going to put a lot of extra pressure on Shanahan in this case since Ovechkin is a repeat offender, especially since this is the same offense.
This is going to draw a lot of interest as the ruling will involve a star player and, well, a lot of people are convinced star treatment is a factor in decisions after the Shea Weber to begin the postseason.
I honestly think there will be a suspension coming Ovechkin's way here for one game, but that's just my guess. No result will surprise me.
What's your prediction?