On Ovechkin's Hit On Heward


There's an inherent bias in being a fan of a team or a player - a Caps fan likely doesn't view Alex Ovechkin's hit on Jamie Heward the same way a Bolts fan does, and had the hit been Evgeny Artyukhin on Mike Green, we'd probably be calling for the former's head right now.

Not surprisingly, then, I don't think the hit is worthy of a suspension - I thought it was a hockey play.

Watch it again. Heward was skating along the boards, Ovi had him lined up, and then Heward turns back and towards the boards with his head lowered because (presumably) the puck wasn't coming around as hard as he had thought. A crisper pass along the boards and Ovi just finishes Heward a bit as they skate out of the zone, as he does a dozen times a game. But that's not what happened.
 
Hockey doesn't happen frame-by-frame, and Alex Ovechkin isn't a dirty player (he's been credited with more than 700 hits in his career and has a grand total of four boarding and three charging penalties). Lightning coach Rick Tocchet didn't think the play was dirty or that AO was attempting to injure Heward. So let's not make it into more than it was - an unfortunate, awkward hockey play.

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