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Zbynek Michalek owns up to his bad hit while calling out Ovechkin for his

Jan 23, 2012, 10:12 AM EDT

Zbynek Michalek Getty Images

Yesterday’s Penguins-Capitals game on NBC had its fair share of highlights including a pair of questionable hits courtesy of Zbynek Michalek and Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin appeared to leap into Michalek while Michalek hit Matt Hendricks from behind with an elbow.

While both players will be meeting with Brendan Shanahan about those hits today, Michalek is doing his part to own up to his mistake. Michalek tells Chuck Gormley of that while he did wrong by hitting Hendricks from behind, he’s left wondering why Ovechkin wasn’t even penalized.

“I know that I made a bad play and maybe I was still a little bit mad about the hit before. That’s how it is. It’s not the first time [Ovechkin] hit me or hit somebody else like that. Some players are more protected than others. It should be an even field.

“I just told the ref that if he makes a call on me, he should have made a call on him, too. It should be even no matter who makes the hit.”

Michalek’s point is a good one. A bad hit is a bad hit no matter who delivers it, but superstars getting the benefit of the doubt happens regardless of what sport. Tom Brady will get the roughing the passer calls, Kobe Bryant will draw a ton of fouls, and Alex Ovechkin will get away with a lot more than Zbynek Michalek will.

It’s not fair and it may not be right, but it’s how it’s going to be. Of course, Ovechkin has a prior record so what he gets away with in a game can always be made up for after it by the league.

  1. hystoracle - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    No one should get away with hits to the head, Period. If the goal is to stop the unnecessary blows to the head then no one can be above the “law”. Star players get the calls true. But having their transgressions ignored is completely different. If Brady went and threw a punch at an opposing player he would get the gate just like any other player. Stamkos is a star and he got two (legitimate) calls against him at the end of the Phoenix game. Ovie isn’t a saint.

    • themohel - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I agree. Even more important to use this hit by Ovie to send a message to the league that they are serious about these hits. They are trying to change a culture that has been in place for decades, and giving passes to some is the exact opposite of the most effective approach. The “goons” of the league might have an “ah-ha” moment if Ovie gets 3-5 games.

      • themohel - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Also – props to Michalek for owning it. Players, coaches and management look like idiots defending obvious bad hits.

  2. danphipps01 - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Good man. Owns up to his hit, but explains in a very reasonable way why he did it. That’s the right way to handle situations like these, and (fairly respectfully) criticizing the League on a double-standard that ought not exist. Well-said.

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