Alex Ovechkin/kid video: An amusing accident, that's all


For the most part, I’m amused by the creativity of conspiracy theories and the surprising sensitivity fan bases exhibit, especially considering the often barbaric violence featured in this sport. That being said, there are moments when the persecution complex rears its tedious, ugly head.

Last night, Brandon posted the video of Alex Ovechkin accidentally giving the poor little Montreal Canadiens kid an ice spray. Naturally, Capitals fans vented their anger at him on Twitter (a common pastime on the popular social network) for broaching the subject … or maybe they were angry about his original headline? Look, maybe there is indeed a Worldwide Conspiracy against the Capitals and all of their supporters, yet it seems more likely that there are certain fans who foster a warped David vs. Goliath fetish.

Regardless of how “important” people may find the story, it is becoming a subject of some debate and therefore is worthy of discussion (even if our main point ends up being that it is clearly overblown). Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out explains away the scenario.

Other players need the fast laps to get pumped. But Ovechkin does this. Game 3, he came so hard that his stop nearly sliced the stray cable of the cameraman kneeling on the ice to shoot the Habs coming onto the rink. He’ll do the same for Game 6, if there is one and if he’s not in the starting six.

The good news is, this flag-waving kid will live forever on YouTube. Too bad for him the snow from Ovechkin’s skates melted on his socks, or he could have sold them for a pile of dough on eBay.

But imagine if Ovie had slipped. They’d still be taking the kid off the boards with a spatula.

Stubbs takes the correct approach with this video. It’s obviously a bizarre mistake/accident/gaffe/noun that won’t upset Capitals fans, but can’t the Internet have fun with odd moment? Maybe there are people admonishing Ovechkin for showering a Montreal youth with one of hockey’s greatest signs of “disrespect” but I think the majority of us are either laughing or yawning.

Rub some dirt on it and calm down, fans of every team. I assure you if any other player sprayed a kid like that, it would be worth a look. No one’s out to get your team, we’re all just floating in the universe with little reason, trying to make sense of this world while clicking on as many dumb Internet videos as we can during a workday. Is that so wrong? If it is, then I don’t want to be right.

Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.

‘It’s absolutely not true’ — Lemieux denies report of ‘big falling out’ with Crosby

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 5:  Sidney Crosby #87 and Mario Lemieux #66 of the Pittsburgh Penguins share a few words during a break in action against the New Jersey Devils in their NHL opening night game at the Continental Airlines Arena on October 5, 2005 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Devils won 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just hours after Matthew Barnaby went on the radio and said he’d heard that Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux had had a “big falling out,” Lemieux came out and denied it.

“It’s absolutely not true,” said Lemieux, per the club’s Twitter account. “It’s silly.”

Today marked the second time in less than two weeks that the Penguins have been forced do some damage control.

Last week, the Penguins insisted that they weren’t actually “mad at each other,” as Evgeni Malkin had put it after a bad loss to New Jersey.

“He did not mean we are mad at each other,” said Crosby. “He meant we are frustrated.”