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Suspension possible for Alex Ovechkin after ‘spear’ on Chris Neil

Dec 7, 2011, 10:55 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin provided a positive video in the Washington Capitals’ 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators, but another clip might just earn him a suspension. Decide for yourself if Ovechkin is guilty of spearing Chris Neil after the Senators tough guy caught him with a hard check (H/T to Russian Machine Never Breaks for video):

Ovechkin didn’t get penalized during play, but Neil received two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera caught up with both parties after the game. Ovechkin trotted out the popular “I’m not that kind of player” line while Neil politely asked for justice.

Obviously, Ovechkin has been suspended before, so that might work against him. Do you think he deserves a fine, fine and suspension or no punishment at all? Let us know in the comments. It’s likely that the league won’t address the matter until Thursday at the earliest, though.

  1. laurely515 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    I can’t wait to read John Steigerwald’s roid-rage column tomorrow.

    • flavadave10 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:13 PM

      And how Neil had it coming because he’s a hockey player. How immature of him to want to be a hockey player. That’s what little kids do.

    • seanp703 - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:00 AM

      Ovy is a monster! And the monkeys awake after his goal tonight. Unleash the fury!

  2. flavadave10 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    I’d say it warrants maybe a fine, but definitely not a suspension.

  3. cannonblast14 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    If Ovechkin gets suspended for this, the league is becoming too weak. WAY too weak. It most definately should have been a penalty, but come on, Neil is a tough guy and little things like this happen in the game all the time. Im not saying Neil dove at all either, it may have hit him in the wrong spot or something, but just because Neil got hurt for a minute doesnt make it suspendable.
    Its dangerous hits that should be taken out of the game, not little jabs that happen to hit someone the wrong way.

    • cmutimmah - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Weak? The league is trying to get rid of head shots and using your stick as a weapon… this falls under the latter.

      Accidental high sticks, slashes, not a big deal. There was intent to get the attention of Niel by Ovey, which can easily be viewed as intent to injure also. I think he deserves a game for this.

      • flavadave10 - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        A game for tapping a guy on the groin? Intent to injure? This is Chris Neil we’re talking about here, not Rick DiPietro.

      • bossyrossy - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        extrapolate much? Intent to get the attention becomes intent to injure.

        Also, I think what the league views as “using your stick as a weapon” is probably more along the lines of McSorley-Brashear, not a little jab to the gut going up ice.

  4. tbcrow - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    I hate Ovi as much as anyone else who isn’t a Cap’s fan. Hell, I live with a Cap’s fan, and well all agree, this is the most ridiculous dive play ever.

    If it got him in the stomach, he’s wearing a chest protector that goes all the way down to the top of his pants. If it got him in the groin, he should be wearing a cup.

    You see Ovi poke him, and you can watch Neil looking to his left to make sure the ref caught it as he flops on the ice to cry like a little girl. Beyond that, Ovi’s stride on the stick collision is identical to the stride before, he didn’t flex more or swing his shoulders more to make an extra effort to poke him on the way past.

    • kneary47 - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      I’m glad you know exactly where his shoulder pads cover. Guess you forget Gretzky didn’t even wear shoulder pads and only had the actual shoulder part attached to his suspenders. Even so there is always a spot on the stomach that is unprotected no matter what shoulder pads you wear.

      Either way it was a dirty play but nothing that deserves a suspension

      • bossyrossy - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        Maybe so to your second point, but as far your first…I doubt a fourth-line enforcer on Ottawa has the same mobility-hindrance concerns regarding excessive pads that Gretzky had. I’d imagine, given Neil’s role, he wears a full complement of pads.

      • flavadave10 - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:41 PM

        Players wore less pads then because the game was a lot less physical back then. Also, they’re called chest pads. Most players (if not all) wear them. I know I do when I play hockey.

  5. danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Man, I love laying the beatdown on Ovi, but there’s nothing here. Like, at all. And I doubt Shanny would see it any differently.

  6. icedtearex - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    You Americans are going to turn this game into something akin to golf. Lets all sit at home and phone in the fouls if the referee misses them.

    • hague507 - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Yeah, that darn American Brenden Shanahan is killing the game.

      • icedtearex - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM


      • hague507 - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        US press also pointing out a Canadian player taking a drive on a soft play. Damn these Americans.

  7. Kristenaux - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Oh pu-leeeez! That’s why players wear all that protection. Neil milked that tap for all it was worth & the ref read it right. He even checked around to see if the ref was looking too before he “collapsed in agony” on the ice.

  8. taytay099 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    I’ve seen Neil block slapshots and get right away. I think he was diving.

  9. stakex - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    For a second lets assume Neil wasn’t diving. Can anyone tell from that video that Ovechkin 100% intended to “spear” him? Because I sure as hell can’t. Was there maybe a little extra sway in Ovechkin’s arms as he passed Neil? Possible, but again theres no way to tell if it was intentional or not. Then, lets assume for a second that this was actually a love tap from Ovechkin. Is this any worse then giving someone a butt end of the stick to the face, like say what Crosby did a couple weeks ago? I doubt it very much.

    All of that might not matter since the person with the best view of the play, the ref, clearly saw enough on the play to say Neil was diving. I don’t see anything in the video the conclusivly say he wasn’t. So in order to suspend Ovechkin Shanahan would have to over rule the ref, determin that Ovechkin went out of his way to spear Neil, and then determin that the play was bad enough to warrent a suspension. I don’t see any of that happening.

  10. wheresdapuck - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    You have to slow it down to see the stick even come close to Neil’s stomach. Ovi should have been penalized on the spot if the official believed the spearing to be true. But more honestly, it looks like Neil was diving to me – looking for a penalty. This not even worth a fine or suspension. Intentional hits deserve fines and suspension and Ovi has had both them in the past. This one looks pretty weak to me!

  11. cshearing - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Wow, you all think Neil was diving? People can see anything they want to, apparently.

    • govtminion - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Not to argue, but… what exactly do YOU see here? I see a guy who might have been brushed with Ovechkin’s stick as he went by, then dropped to the ice like he’d been taken out by a sniper a few moments later.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:11 AM

      No doubt in my mind he dove. And you know what, the Refs know some of his reputation, hence the unsportmanlike conduct call. Ovie got him a little yes, but he dove all soccer style. If a suspension is warrented, it should be to Neil.

  12. sippindasyzurp - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Bottom line here, Ovechkin knows what hes doing, he is swinging his stick sideways pretty fast and oops he happens to jab Neil “by accident”… Bottom line in hockey, the player is responsible to control his own stick… Is it worthy of a suspension? Probably not, probably a phone call though from Shanaban and referee’s will watch the video after the game and these kind of incidents don’t really do any favors to Ovechkin.. Cause I can guarantee you if the official had a better angle at the play (like the one we seen on camera) Ovechkin probably gets a 4 min for spearing.

  13. gravehuntress - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Puh-Leez….Neil was milking that for all that’s it worth. 2 minutes in penalty box sufficent for a minor jab.

  14. jwcamp - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    It’s about time Ovechkin gets the recognition as a dirty player. He has a history of crooked play and cheap shots. In the past, the league hasn’t had the gts to suspend him because he’s a superstar.

    • flavadave10 - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Oh, did you miss the whole “Obviously, Ovechkin has been suspended before” thing? Cause, yeah, that actually happened.

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