Reckless Abandon, those two words describe Alex Ovechkin’s gameplay since he has come into the league. Last night’s game against Carolina was no exception, where in the first period Alex Ovechkin had a knee on knee collision with Tim Gleason of the Florida Panthers. I’m sure most of you have seen the hit by now, but staying with his MO, Ovechkin charges at someone with great speed, goes to throw a shoulder into Gleason, and with Gleason cutting away from Ovie to avoid the hit Ovechkin, sticks out his leg in an attempt to slow Gleason down. I’m not exactly condoning Ovechkin’s hit, but for anyone who has played a competitive sport knows that when you go to hit someone and miss, you try to get whatever little piece of them you can. The Great Eight has been known in the past to use “questionable” hits but it comes with the territory of his style of play.
Ovechkin has been listed as day-to-day by the Capitals, head coach Bruce Boudreau had this to say about the hit.
“I don’t think there is a malicious bone of him trying to hurt anybody. He just plays hard and he plays to win every shift”
Boudreau also commented that perhaps Ovechkin should maybe play a bit less recklessly but does not think the superstar will change the way he plays because of the hit. Anyone who nets 60 goals sure has the right to keep playing the way does because, well, he scored 60 goals so he’s doing something right. In talking to a few Caps fans, their worries are not that they want him to change, but just how long does Alex have in the league before he seriously injures himself?
So I ask you all, was it a fair and legal hit and was the league’s ruling fair? And are you worried that Ovechkin may doom his own career by playing the way he does?