Alex Ovechkin doesn't plan on changing his ways


For better or worse, Alex Ovechkin isn’t planning on changing the way
he plays, even after his second suspension this season for an illegal
hit. This latest transgression wasn’t brutal, but it was reckless, and
Ovechkin has been criticized his entire career for his sometimes over
the top play.

He’s the best player in the NHL. Why change now,

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:

“No, I just, I know what guys can say: Maybe it was a good hit,
maybe it was a bad hit
.” Ovechkin said. “Everybody has his own
mind. And if you’re gonna listen to everybody, you’re gonna be just
crazy. You can kill yourself. And so I think it happens, and it’s pretty
sad [Brian Campbell] get hurt, but it’s life, it’s hockey.”

NBC Washington’s Dan Hellie than asked for the best piece of advice
he’s heard on this matter: “Don’t stop playing how you play,” Ovechkin

Like I’ve said before, I have taken no sides
in the supposed Team Ovi vs. Team Crosby debate. I am not an Ovechkin

But saying that he doesn’t need to change his playing style is
borderline delusional. I can certainly understand his reasoning; he
hasn’t become the most exciting hockey player in the world by playing
timid or soft. But he says that he doesn’t want to hurt any one, yet
that is what is happening more and more often. The NHL is going to start
coming down harder on illegal hits.

I’m not saying he needs to
play any less energetic or physical, he just needs to play smarter

That’s apparently not going to happen anytime soon. His
coach maintains the hit on Brian Campbell was just an unfortunate hockey
play that resulted in an injury; he’s certainly not encouraging his
star player to let up any.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.