Yesterday’s Penguins-Capitals game on NBC had its fair share of highlights including a pair of questionable hits courtesy of Zbynek Michalek and Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin appeared to leap into Michalek while Michalek hit Matt Hendricks from behind with an elbow.
While both players will be meeting with Brendan Shanahan about those hits today, Michalek is doing his part to own up to his mistake. Michalek tells Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com that while he did wrong by hitting Hendricks from behind, he’s left wondering why Ovechkin wasn’t even penalized.
“I know that I made a bad play and maybe I was still a little bit mad about the hit before. That’s how it is. It’s not the first time [Ovechkin] hit me or hit somebody else like that. Some players are more protected than others. It should be an even field.
“I just told the ref that if he makes a call on me, he should have made a call on him, too. It should be even no matter who makes the hit.”
Michalek’s point is a good one. A bad hit is a bad hit no matter who delivers it, but superstars getting the benefit of the doubt happens regardless of what sport. Tom Brady will get the roughing the passer calls, Kobe Bryant will draw a ton of fouls, and Alex Ovechkin will get away with a lot more than Zbynek Michalek will.
It’s not fair and it may not be right, but it’s how it’s going to be. Of course, Ovechkin has a prior record so what he gets away with in a game can always be made up for after it by the league.