Sunday, December 03, 2006

Alexander Ovechkin hit on Daniel Briere

The word from the NHL front office is that Ovechkin won't be suspended for this hit on Briere, but that's not the call I would have made.

The ramifications of such a careless and downright dirty bodycheck could have been much worse for the Sabres captain — whose head snaps back when it strikes the boards — and while I don't think Ovechkin meant to hurt him, he obviously wasn't thinking here.

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14 Comments:

At 3:01 PM, December 03, 2006, Blogger ScottyWazz said...

Though I'm a Caps fan; I have to concur that there should be a suspension; at least two games. I think Briere coming back into the game to play the rest of it came into effect in the NHL's decision.

However, if a Penguin (I think Armstrong) can throw a Dusty Rhodes like elbow to Trevor Letowski and get away with it; that shows you that the NHL seems to be under martial law.

 
At 3:41 PM, December 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NHL discipline and punishments have been dependent on who the involved parties are and their profile. Briere is indeed a fine player, but Ovechkin and Crosby are the new face of the league. Either would have to do something incredibly dirty to get anything more than a stern talking-to, if that. Had Briere been just a role-player, many people wouldn't even be discussing this. (Or he would be blamed for not knowing enough to keep his head up--it would be his fault for not expecting a dirty hit, and having the audacity to get in the way of a star.)

 
At 6:09 PM, December 03, 2006, Anonymous ken said...

... sigh ... the NHL just gets worse. I mean, really. Is it really that hard to ask that you not intentionally hit a guy from behind? Is it that hard for the NHL penalize -- severely -- those who do?

It's only a matter of time until an NHL player is paralyzed on a dirty hit. We've already seen careers ended on cheap shots (worse than this), with little punishment.

Sometimes I hate the NHL.

 
At 8:06 PM, December 03, 2006, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Isn't this the sort of thing that allowing fighting in the league is supposed to prevent?

[/snark]

Remember this sort of incident the next time you find yourself arguing that fighting causes players to be more responsible. Spending, as I do, half my time watching a league (NCAA) where fighting is not allowed, you really don't see more of this sort of dirty play. Fighting is tolerated in the NHL because people like fighting and for no other reason.

 
At 10:24 PM, December 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was TOTALLY irresponsible on Ovechkin's part.

And from what I saw, Briere's head snapped back *before* it hit the boards, and then again after.

And, really, a one-game should have been called for, given the level of irresponsibility. And I'm also someone who thought that Marian Hossa should have been given a 1-game suspension after he high-sticked Bryan Berard in the face in 2000. And in case anyone is wondering, yes, I thought Justin Williams should have gotten at least 1 game for the stick on Saku Koivu during the playoffs last year.

 
At 11:30 PM, December 03, 2006, Blogger Doogie said...

But the thing is, Mr. Neal, fighting is only allowed when both parties agree to it beforehand. That doesn't work in a case like this.

Kill the instigator, and suspend Ovechkin. The NHL cannot simply ignore all dirty hits while simultaneously disallowing players from doing anything about it themselves. Someone's got to dole out the punishment, and if the NHL won't, the players have to. How would the NCAA respond to this hit?

 
At 8:29 AM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous Rachael said...

The thing that gets me about this hit is that Briere was so obviously going to the bench. Sure, when he's on the ice he should be aware of what's going on, but since he was slowing down to get on the bench, what was the point in Ovechkin hitting him??

I love Ovechkin, but I still think he should be suspended. I think anyone who made that hit, no matter who it was on, should've been suspended.

Why does Colin Campbell still have a job?

 
At 9:48 AM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous BDH said...

Bobby April needs to teach these guys that you don't hit anyone if you can see the name on their jersey.

And not to play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game, but the bench door opening right near Briere's head is pretty scary.

 
At 10:33 AM, December 04, 2006, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

But the thing is, Mr. Neal, fighting is only allowed when both parties agree to it beforehand. That doesn't work in a case like this.

My point wasn't any less true before they toughened up on the instigator rule. Fighting does not prevent dirty play. It doesn't now, and it never has.

I also think that the league should be tougher about dirty play, but that is a completely tangential issue to allowing fighting.

 
At 11:09 AM, December 04, 2006, Blogger Tom L said...

Yet another example of how Colin Campbell has no love at all for the Sabres. Sorry, I've said this before and I'll say it again, the NHL disciplinary office has a sincere bias against all things Buffalo. Had these players' positions been reversed Briere would be looking at 5 to 10 games. No doubt in my mind.

2 games for Ovechkin would have made me happy.

And, to the 2nd poster, think again. Briere was given 2 games for 'careless use of his stick' because he hit Brian Leetch just last season. Not a role-player at that point, certainly. He gets suspended b/c Colin Campbell is a Toronto fan, pure and simple.

Ta,

 
At 11:35 AM, December 04, 2006, Blogger MF37 said...

Tom - I think you meant to say Colin Campbell has no love at all for hockey. If he loved the game, Ovechkin would be suspended.

He's also certainly no Leafs fan - look no further than Kubina's suspension for his high-stick/cross check on Hudler while Heatley got squat for his two-hander on Bell.

 
At 11:59 AM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had Briere been just a role-player ... he would be blamed for not knowing enough to keep his head up--it would be his fault...

What a ridiculous comment. Give your head a shake. We can all agree that was a stupid, dirty selfish hit. You don't need to resort to a non-starter argument like that one.

Still, at least that has more merit that this did:

Colin Campbell has no love at all for the Sabres. Sorry, I've said this before and I'll say it again, the NHL disciplinary office has a sincere bias against all things Buffalo. Had these players' positions been reversed Briere would be looking at 5 to 10 games

Sigh. Do you really believe that? You can try to convince me that the league is more lenient on star players. But trying to convince me that the league is "out to get" any market -- particularly one as tiny and insignificant as Buffalo -- is patently ridiculous.

Suspend Ovechkin. It was stupid and incredibly dangerous. That is all.

Someone will be paralyzed one day, and the league will swiftly leap into action then and only then, by crucifying the guilty party, never mind the fact that dirtier hits were happening before that for years.

DONT. HIT. PEOPLE. INTO. THE. BOARDS. FROM. BEHIND.

 
At 1:16 PM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How difficult is it to be aware that if you see a guy's numbers, don't hit him? I'm no fan of Alex Ovechkin, but I don't think he's a dirty player either. However, his hit deserved suspension. I'm glad that Briere wasn't seriously injured.

Just ask Erik Cole how bad it could have been.

 
At 2:29 PM, December 04, 2006, Blogger Tom L said...

Sigh. Do you really believe that? You can try to convince me that the league is more lenient on star players. But trying to convince me that the league is "out to get" any market -- particularly one as tiny and insignificant as Buffalo -- is patently ridiculous.

I would like to agree with this, but the truth is that actiosn (or in this case lack of actions) speak volumes and it seems that whenever the Sabres are involved in something that the league has to decide upon then get the shaft, most especially when Colin "Good Hockey Hit" Campbell is involved. So, spare me your outrage. I watch our players get cheap-shotted, elbowed, punched in the head, run, and kneed and Clown Shoes can never find it in his heart to find the opposition in the wrong. Briere falls to the ice and accidentally hits Brian Leetch in the head... he gets 2 games for careless use of his stick. Turn the scenario around and AO gets a $100 fine... whic, btw is MANDATORY for the boarding call!

So, again, spare me your disgust with my position. I watch every minute of every Sabres game barring life-changing events and can tell you there's a bias. Live with it.

Ta,

 

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