Ovi responds to big hit with big hit of his own
Was Alex Ovechkin’s hit from behind on Edmonton Oilers right wing Mike Brown worthy of a second look by the NHL?
Or did the Oilers over-react to the hard hit from the Capitals’ captain?
That’s something only NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan can answer.
Tempers flared with 7:41 remaining in the Caps’ 4-2 win over the Oilers on Monday night when Ovechkin checked Brown into the boards. It appeared Brown turned his back toward Ovechkin just before taking the hit, but he was upset after the game that Ovechkin didn’t stand up for himself.
“You turn this around and if I hit somebody from behind I’m going to expect someone to come after me,” Brown told the Edmonton Sun. “You have to expect that somebody is going to want revenge and somebody is going to be [ticked] off. A player like me, I’m going to expect that coming and a player like Ovechkin, if he’s doing that kind of stuff, he’s got to expect it, too. He’s not untouchable.”
Will Acton immediately confronted Ovechkin, who was assessed an interference penalty on the play. Four other players – Capitals defensemen Mike Green and Karl Alzner and Oilers Luke Gazdic and Brown -- received roughing minors during the fracas.
“I think it was a clean hit,” Ovechkin said. “I think the referee just blow the whistle because he don’t want to get fights or mess with that.”
Capitals coach Adam Oates agreed.
“My first view of it, I thought (Brown) had the puck as Ovi hit him,” Oates said. “Clearly, those guys are on the ice to stir it up, which we understand. I thought maybe the referee made a mistake there.”