First, The Goal; Now, The Hit

Okay, I just touched on this at the end of the last post but, now that I've seen the YouTube video, I wanted to give a full report on my opinion of the Ovechkin hit last night. Because, really, your life is incomplete if you aren't fully aware of my opinion.

Dirty hit. Period. The five-minute major and the game misconduct were completely legitimate. Daniel Briere (and, to a certain extent, Ovechkin) is lucky his head hit the door and the door popped open, otherwise it could have been a lot more serious. There is absolutely no place in the game for hits of that sort, and if the league suspends Ovechkin, I won't be particularly upset about it.

In situations like this, its intriguing to see the way all the parties involved react. I gained a new measure of respect for Briere when I read this quote: "It was definitely late and from behind. It's tough to say whether he deserves a suspension." It would be easy to flat out call Ovechkin a dirty player and call for a harsh punishment, but Briere takes the high road, showing that he is far classier than his head coach. Then, later on, he says "But at the same time, I’ve got to take part of the blame, too. You’ve got to protect yourself a little bit better than I did." That's pure class right there because the fact of the matter is, there is not an ounce of blame that should fall on his shoulders, but I have to imagine he knows as well as we Caps fans that Ovechkin never meant for it to be the cheap shot that it was.

Lindy Ruff, whom I generally refer to as "Whiny Little Bitch" (or WLB) in these parts, even handled the situation with a little bit of class. "I think if they looked at it through their eyes and it was Ovechkin going headfirst into the wall, I think they'd feel the same way. We don't need those plays in the game."

So for those of you keeping score at home: Buffalo Sabres? Classy. Buffalo Sabres fans? Not so much. (With thanks to J.P. for the link. EDIT: For some other excellent takes on the unseemly nature of the Sabres faithful, go to A View From the Cheap Seats or Bettman Hates Hockey! (UGH), or just go backwards one post right here at the Kevin Hatcher Fan Club.)

1 comment:

FS said...

The reason Briere says some of the responsibility falls on him is that the NHL rulebooks says it does. The rulebook is very clear that in any case involving boarding, there is a responsibility on a player that carries the puck not to put themselves in a position where an opponent can commit boarding on them. But I agree that if half of the Buffalo fans were as classy as Briere, they wouldn't have such a horrible reputation.