I didn’t expect Alex Ovechkin to say he was completely at fault for
what what happened with Brian Campbell, but I can’t believe how everyone
in Washington, D.C. seems to be completely mystified for why he was
suspended. Ted Leonsis can’t understand it, Bruce Boudreau can’t believe it
and now A.O. himself is
a bit dumbfounded.
“I am very sorry that Brian
(Campbell) was injured and I hope he is able
to return to his team soon,” Ovechkin said. “NHL hockey is a physical
game. We all play hard every time we are on the ice and have battles
each shift in every game we play so we can do our jobs and win. As
players we must accept responsibility for our actions and I am no
different but I did not intend to injure Brian and that is why I was
disappointed with the NHL’s decision (on MOnday).”
“Every time I
have the honor to play for my team, I will continue to do
what I have done since I was taught to play. I will play hard, play with
passion and play with respect for my teammates, opponents and fans,”
Ovechkin added. “I look forward to returning to my team and doing
everything I can to be the best player I can be.”
I continue I have to state this disclaimer: I am not a Alex Ovechkin
hater. In fact, I love watching the guy play.
The NHL did not
suspend Ovechkin because they determined he ‘intended to injure’ Brian
Campbell. In fact, if that were the case, I have to believe that his
suspension would have been much, much longer. Ovechkin was suspended
because, like he’s done in the past, was reckless and created a
dangerous play that hurt another player. Ovechkin’s all-out style of
play is great to watch and you have to respect his love of the game, but
at some point he has to realize that he is accountable for the bad
plays he creates when he’s reckless.
This is nothing more than
that. It seems that Ovechkin and the Capitals are taking this a bit
personal; the simple truth is that every time a player is pushed — or
hit — from behind and into the boards, he’s going to be suspended. The
debates about blindside hits, hits the head or even slew-foots have no
bearing in this situation; hits from behind and into the boards always
have been and always will be punished, at every level of hockey.
But the chance for at least a single point slipped at the worst possible time, as Jonathan Toews scored with 1:18 left in regulation and then set up an empty net goal from Marian Hossa just a few seconds later to secure the 4-2 win.
The Canucks remain stuck at five wins — just five wins — on the road. They have the 29th-ranked road record in the entire NHL. Only the Arizona Coyotes have been worse away from home ice. So, that’s a problem that needs to be fixed down the stretch.
Vancouver had a chance to move into a wild card spot. Instead, they let the Blackhawks regain momentum as the period went on, and as a result, they remain on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture for right now.
Corey Crawford earned his 200th career win, making 26 saves. That’s a milestone night for him. For Toews, that’s his most productive night of the season, as he factored into all four Chicago goals, which, of course, included the winner.
So overtime against the New York Islanders seemed like a perfect time for captain Claude Giroux to bust his scoring slump.
Without a goal in his last 12 games, or since Dec. 21 before the holiday break, Giroux finished the Flyers comeback with an overtime goal to give Philly a 3-2 victory on Sunday. Jakub Voracek did great work along the boards to force a turnover from John Tavares, and Shayne Gostisbehere followed up his chance with a quick pass to a wide-open Giroux at the top of the crease.
That comeback win — Philly trailed by two goals early in the second period — bumps the Flyers back into a wild card spot.
Steve Mason had a big game in net for Philly, with 36 saves, while the Flyers fired 47 shots on goal toward Thomas Greiss, although it’s a difficult task trying to re-set and stop Giroux — an accomplished scorer in the NHL — on the doorstep.
Goals, goals and more goals! Blue Jackets outlast Senators for overtime win
Plenty of goals. A little three-on-three overtime. Seemed like an enjoyable afternoon of hockey between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Well, maybe the goalies, Mike Condon and Joonas Korpisalo, didn’t enjoy it as much.
The Blue Jackets prevailed for a 7-6 overtime win, with Cam Atkinson scoring just 1:09 into the extra period. That’s his 23rd goal of the season. Only two players — Jeff Carter (24) and Sidney Crosby (28) — have scored more goals than Atkinson this season.
With the win, and the Capitals sitting idle today, the Blue Jackets move back into a tie with Washington at 68 points in the fight for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
There were some anxious moments for Columbus.
Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski was hurt blocking a shot in the third period. He briefly left the game, unable to put any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off.
The good news: He only missed a few minutes, returning late in regulation and for the overtime as well, which is important for the Blue Jackets.
#CBJ Zach Werenski said on @FOXSportsOH post-game he "thought it was broken" and "long term" injury when he blocked the shot.
“He’s made a couple of huge mistakes in a game and he comes to the bench, shakes it off and then goes out and makes a great play. For a 19-year-old playing that position and the amount of time he’s getting in key situations with this organization, it’s pretty impressive.”