Before this latest stint without Ovie, the Caps have only missed him in four games in four seasons. Considering his style of play–lightning speed and thunderous hits–it’s amazing he hasn’t been injured until this point in his career. My memory takes me back to last season when #8 lost an edge and went head first into the boards. And if my memory serves me correctly he missed one…maybe two shifts. He truly is the “Russian Machine.”
This absence has also allowed some room for other players to step up. Tomas Fleischmann is coming off an injury and has five goals in the five games Ovie has been out. Mathieu Perreault has three points in his first three NHL career games, and also brings to the table a sick flow along with a wicked one-kneed celly after his first NHL goal.
Ovechkin was hurt during the game against Columbus and had five goals in his previous three games. He still leads the league in goals with co-leader Anze Kopitar from L.A.. This makes him an obvious target for opponents. But how far can they go to aggravate the Great 8.
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock told his players before the game to “run, chase, hunt down, hit, whatever word you want to use that would be correct.” He added that their wasn’t a difference between hit and run and asked reporters, “That’s the name of the game. Why, is that against the rules now?”
Well technically no, but it is illegal to “hunt down” a player during a stoppage of play and start throwing punches. Especially at the best player in the NHL. If this was an incident involving Crosby I guarantee Gary Bettman would have every Blue Jacket player involved thrown in jail with the Hanson Brothers.
Either way it’s over and done with and there’s no reason to rant.
According to the Capitals Insider, “GM George McPhee said he wouldn’t be surprised if Alex Ovechkin returns in time for this weekend’s games.”