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Alex Ovechkin doesn't plan on changing his ways

Mar 22, 2010, 3:04 PM EDT

For better or worse, Alex Ovechkin isn’t planning on changing the way
he plays, even after his second suspension this season for an illegal
hit. This latest transgression wasn’t brutal, but it was reckless, and
Ovechkin has been criticized his entire career for his sometimes over
the top play.

He’s the best player in the NHL. Why change now,
right?

Via
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:

“No, I just, I know what guys can say: Maybe it was a good hit,
maybe it was a bad hit
.” Ovechkin said. “Everybody has his own
mind. And if you’re gonna listen to everybody, you’re gonna be just
crazy. You can kill yourself. And so I think it happens, and it’s pretty
sad [Brian Campbell] get hurt, but it’s life, it’s hockey.”

NBC Washington’s Dan Hellie than asked for the best piece of advice
he’s heard on this matter: “Don’t stop playing how you play,” Ovechkin
said.

Like I’ve said before, I have taken no sides
in the supposed Team Ovi vs. Team Crosby debate. I am not an Ovechkin
hater.

But saying that he doesn’t need to change his playing style is
borderline delusional. I can certainly understand his reasoning; he
hasn’t become the most exciting hockey player in the world by playing
timid or soft. But he says that he doesn’t want to hurt any one, yet
that is what is happening more and more often. The NHL is going to start
coming down harder on illegal hits.

I’m not saying he needs to
play any less energetic or physical, he just needs to play smarter
hockey.

That’s apparently not going to happen anytime soon. His
coach maintains the hit on Brian Campbell was just an unfortunate hockey
play that resulted in an injury; he’s certainly not encouraging his
star player to let up any.

  1. Trey - Mar 22, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Not sure if you have read this article, also by Dan Steinberg, about the word “Reckless” but it’s a good quick read
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/03/boudreau_uses_the_word_reckles.html
    Also Ovi has about 5 questionable/suspendible/etc. hits on the season out of 164. 97% of the time there is nothing wrong with his hits. Should he change the way he plays for the 3% of the time a hit is questionable? I guess that depends on each persons point of view.

  2. jeff - Mar 22, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    I’m not a big hockey fan, but what I have observed is that Ovechkin has a giant target on his back and receives far more questionable hits and cheap shots than he gives out. We can talk about Ovechkin in a vaccuum if you want, but this is more than a one-sided story. Maybe the league should “protect” Ovechkin they way they protect Crosby. But as long as Candians are running the show I doubt that will happen.

  3. Beast - Mar 22, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Everytime someone has to start a thought by saying they are not one thing or the other, they usually are exactly that. “I’m not an Ovechkin hater…” Right.

  4. Mike - Mar 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    All those comments are great points. Why should Ovie change the way he plays if:
    1)He gets hit in questionable ways WAY more often
    2)It’s part of what makes him the best in the world
    3)It’s part of hockey to hit people, so why would you hit people less hard than you can?
    4)Look at the hits that he has been suspended for, then look at hits from Cooke, Pronger, or Cam Janssen. Who do you think needs to change, again?

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