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Ovechkin’s hit on Girardi raises questions; Hunter calls it “incidental contact”

May 5, 2012, 4:39 PM EDT

One of the more memorable plays from the Capitals’ 3-2 win over the Rangers was seeing Alex Ovechkin lay a huge hit on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during the second period. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for charging thanks to him leaving his feet to make the hit. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.

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After the game, Caps coach Dale Hunter told Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times he thought the hit wasn’t as menacing as it appeared.

“It was more incidental contact where both of them were protecting themselves and trying to get out of the way,” Hunter said.

Dan Girardi told Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the play but did say Ovechkin hit him in the head.

“He hit my head a bit there, I think it was the right cal,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure what it was, charging or interference. My head’s kind of there, I think he’s just playing the game hard.”

Meanwhile, Ovechkin said he thought the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal said the thought after the game was that there would be no supplementary discipline for Ovechkin even in spite of him being a repeat offender.

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 5, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Incidental on purpose head shot contact ! Should receive a game ! Will he get a game ,,,no chance !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Yeah cause you alway leave your feet in normal contact ! Ok Dale !

  2. watermelon1 - May 5, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    We could focus on this hit where one side will say it’s a disgusting hit, and others will say it’s just pkaying hard. Bottom line is… Much more menacing stuff has been allowed in this series as
    Well as others. And lesser hits have been penalized. There’s no consistency.

    But I’d rather focus on the hit little Nicky Backstrom laid on the Ranger trying to pound him in the boards. It’s hilarious to me that The Caps best skill players are also the only two guys
    On the team that seem to even want to hit anyone on the other team. Just further goes to show how weak their defensemen are.

    Love watching Ovi and Backstrom, and really hope some cheap suspension doesn’t come from that was charging because he basically skated right past the puck, but it looked like first contact was to the shoulder to me. Not sure if contact was made to the head once impact occurred. Yes, he did leave his feet. Everyone looks to be just fine though. Nobody on the rangers reacted like they thought it was a cheap shot. Let them play!

    • grimlock410 - May 5, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      1. Nick Backstrom isn’t little the guys got legs like a horse.
      2 Say what you will about our Dmen but Hendricks and Brouwer both have been close to if not the tops in hits per minutes on the ice.
      3. Opinions are one thing but when you get facts wrong you look really bad.

  3. watermelon1 - May 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    And after having to sit through the Washington/Boston series full of after the whistle cheap shots… I’d have to say this series has finally let the hockry fans watch real hockey again. It’s a nice change.

  4. dawglb - May 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    If that is incidental, then Hunter made a career on incidental contact…..

  5. nepo784 - May 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Coming from a piece of trash like Hunter and clueless Washington fans…. Not a surprising reaction

  6. ynothockey - May 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Looked a lot like Torres hit but I bet he doesn’t get even half the suspension.

    • wsiegeldpm - May 5, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      He will get NO suspension. Shanahan has been consistent about one thing…his inconsistency. And the league hates the Rangers (witness the Hagelin and Boyle incidents). I have watched the video over and over from three different angles. It is clear, without a doubt, that Ovechkin’s shoulder makes direct contact with Girardi’s head. In fact, with Ovechkin off his feet, and Girardi slightly bent, the laws of physics dictate that it is impossible for him NOT to have made direct contact with his head. If Ovechkin’s shoulder hit Girardi’s shoulder with Girardi bent and Ovechkin 6 inches in the air, then Ovechkin would have to be 5’1.

    • HawaiiHockey - May 5, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      I’m gonna say not really. Ovechkin tried to play the puck with his skates, head down. He jumped prior to making contact, yes, but it didn’t have the steam that the Torres hit had. I definitely wouldn’t call it incidental, but Ovi wasn’t exactly out for blood, either.

  7. ironcity6pak - May 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Definitely needs to be addresses, this is what the NHL is trying to stop. If Dan was seriously hurt ovi would have been thrown out and suspended indefinitely. He left his skates and by at least a foot. Come on now this is ridiculous.

    • bmoreredfury311 - May 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      I’m sorry.. what? i can’t hear your dumba$$ comments. from a team that was going to win the cup, and then getting knocked out in the first round. And your captain, showing his true colors, by being the lil girl that he is,.Pitt fans have no more say, words or influence on the hockey world, after their childish antics and failure.

    • bigoldorcafromvan - May 5, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      so ironcity6pak in your rant about this hit and if Dan was hurt he should be out indefinitey. On the Keith hit on Sedin what would have been fair suspension for Keith?. MOPO is that Keith should be out for longer than Torris and Ovi should be out for 10 games.

  8. akrizzy25 - May 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Once again Ovi leaves his feet on hit. He has been doing it since he was a rookie. I am a pens fan and I am not condoning anything they did. This is about the NHL’s continued butchering of illegal hits. When the NHL blows this one no one should be surprised. Get rid of headshots.

  9. cspsrbums - May 5, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    If the ranger fans want a game give it to ten if that’s how they need to win so be it. Giving PP in triple OT didn’t help because their PP sucks so hope for suspension that’s all u got left. I believe you and your team r almost Done get ur Golf clubs ready

  10. bmorethansteel - May 5, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Nepo…….hahahaha what a loser you are. All bark with no bite. Hunter played hockey the way it was meant to be. Enforcer style back in the day. Don’t see people talking trash about the BSB’s do you. That squad did the same

  11. jasndc75 - May 6, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Hunter calls it “incidental contact”

    Hunter also called his hit on Turgeon “finishing his check”

  12. zinfman - May 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Wow!!! Former cheap shot artist Dale Hunter refers to the filthy hit his Soviet ape made as incidental contact! I’m shocked and surprised!….NOT

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