Has Ovechkin's reputation suffered after suspension?

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Bruce Boudreau was on 93.7 The Fan earlier today in advance of
tomorrow night’s EPIC matchup between the Penguins and Capitals, and
among a wide variety of topics he discussed the reputations of both
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Specifically, he was asked whether
Ovechkin’s suspensions have tarnished his reputation at all.
Via Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Blog:

“In
Pittsburgh, maybe,” Boudreau cracked. “Look, we all love him here in
Washington. I don’t know. He plays hard. And when you play as hard
every night as he does, things are gonna happen. He got suspended and
reprimanded and everything, but the same thing can be said about Sidney.
I mean, you look a the end of last night’s game, which happens a lot.
[Crosby] competes so hard, I mean, he ends up in that scrum at the end. I
don’t think his image of being a great player is tarnished by the
amount of little feuds he’s gotten into in the course of this year. But I
mean, Ovi’s suspensions are again nationwide, or two nations
wide, and you hear it all the time. It may have, I have no idea. Not to us,
that’s all I know.”

Over the past few weeks I’ve
found it interesting how Penguins fans have turned Ovechkin’s suspension
into a battle cry that Crosby is that much better, much more of a
classy player. Crosby plays the game with just as much emotion as
Ovechkin and he plays it right there on the edge as well — as evidenced
by his endless cross checking of Henrik Zetterberg last night.

Steinberg
would go on to discuss regional bias and how it affect’s one’s views of
Crosby and Ovechkin. Has Ovechkin’s reputation taken a hit nationally
because of this latest suspension? I’m sure it hasn’t helped, but I
doubt a number of neutral hockey fans suddenly turned tail and ran over
to Crosby’s side of the playground.

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.