Alex Ovechkin's 'apology'

48 Comments

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.”

Before
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.