Skip to content

Report: Alex Ovechkin won’t face a hearing for Dan Girardi hit

May 5, 2012, 7:21 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals warms up before a game against the New York Rangers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) Getty Images

Multiple reporters (including Katie Strang and Arthur Staple) quote high-ranking but unnamed sources who claim that the Washington Capitals won’t need to worry about losing Alex Ovechkin for a pivotal Game 5 against the New York Rangers.

His hit on Dan Girardi produced divisive reactions from the two teams and scorn from Mike Milbury. Meanwhile, PHT readers are currently against the idea of a suspension by a rate of about two to one.

Keep in mind that these are just initial reports, but considering a) Ovechkin’s star status, b) the importance of the teams’ next match and c) the fact that Girardi kept playing, it’s not shocking that the NHL won’t suspend him (if the reports are correct). That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice, though, so feel free to share your thoughts about the league’s likely non-suspension in the comments.

Here is video of the hit for your quick reference.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
  1. eggserino - May 5, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    What? Did the league determine that he left his feet after making contact? Need consistency, y’all.

    • sumthinsweet - May 5, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Not every little hit needs to be examined by the league. It was shoulder to shoulder and Ovi barely nudged him. He really could have laid him out if he wanted ti be dirty. He left his feet, got a penalty, its over. No,reason for suspension or fine. I thought it was just the Rangers, but the fans are getting really soft as well… Toughin up.. Its hockey

      • eggserino - May 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        It would’ve been shoulder to shoulder had Ovetchkin not left his feet. When he elevated, #8′s shoulder hit Girardi’s head.

        I’m all for hitting in the game. Stay on the ice. There’s no need to jump to deliver a solid body check.

      • sabatimus - May 7, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        How does going full homer feel?

      • chadwzimm - May 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        Dude, way to be a huge homer. Pause the video at 14 seconds and tell me that’s not a headshot. Shoulder to shoulder? Yeah, right.

  2. gmenfan1982 - May 5, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Not overly dirty bit he did leave his feet and it was definitely interference. Thankfully Girardi was fine but it was high and he launched himself.

  3. djwhite2710 - May 5, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Full disclosure – I am a Ranger fan….

    I think whether he should be suspended or not is open to debate…with great arguments on both sides.

    But….if a repeat offender doesn’t even get a meeting with Shanahan with that kind of hit, then I really start to question how discipline is being handled and the NHL and Shanahan really open themselves up to an extremely high amount of questioning on the perceived double standard for “star” players (which already exists).

    And no…I don’t think there is a conspiracy to get the Capital’s to advance…

  4. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 5, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Please tell me something I don’t already know !

  5. crosberries - May 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Ovi doesn’t know how to hit without jumping he does this constantly and always gets away with it

    • bmoreredfury311 - May 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Sorry pen fans you guys have no say here, go join your boy cindy and see the pony’s.OH btw, hows your golf swing coming long?

  6. oviovertime - May 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    I’m a caps fan but I do think that they need to at least have a phone conference and tell him to calm it down with jumping. Maybe fine him. But I don’t think it deserves a suspension

    • sumthinsweet - May 5, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Maybe they should just take hitting out of hockey all together and start playing patty cake instead of fighting… Come on dude… Cap nation is disappointed in you

  7. jimw81 - May 5, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Shanaban justice at work!

  8. Doesnotmatter - May 5, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    I need a video breakdown from Shanahan explaining how this hit was legal. Maybe Oveckhin gets suspended for a period. It wasn’t like he hit someone in the head first and elbowed another guy a minute later. Half a game and a fine should do it.

    • holtbeast - May 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Oh does the NHL suspend players for periods now? WTF.

    • realcapsfan - May 6, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      It wasn’t legal, hence the 2 min for charging. They either have to suspend Ovi or not, fine is not an option and neither is suspending someone for a period. I guess a major would be close, but the refs got it right – 2 min.

  9. subliminalnoize - May 5, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    This is typical, if you watch the video you can see Ovi tries to play the puck, and missed. So seeing Girardi coming in on him, he proceeds to brace and challenge the hit coming from the opposing team, yeah he leave his feet and needs to be collared but this is not suspension worthy by any means. If he hadn’t done this Giradi would of leveled him and there would be a whole new conversation. Lets not forget this works both ways.

    • realcapsfan - May 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      Good analysis, this is what folks are missing. There is a 50/50 puck involved. And it’s in the middle of the ice (happens all the time). Ovi gets to the puck first but sees Girardi coming to the spot, Hit or be hit, Ovi does the hitting, he leaves his feet and gets a penalty 2 min. A 50/50 puck leads to a split decision, no premeditation or targeting, there’s no time!

      This happens all the time. if there was no puck then I could see the Neal analogy, he was clearly going after players, puck be damned. No comparison and even Shanahan would make that distinction.

  10. bcjim - May 5, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Charging. Got his 2 min. Move on.

    Does every charge merit a “hearing”?

    • sabatimus - May 7, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      Head-targeting does.

      • bcjim - May 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        Oh please. Neither player anticipated the hit until moments before it happened.

  11. bronxsanman - May 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Of course he won’t be suspended,he’s one of Gary bettman’s poster boys of the NHL.its amazing how a no name player like Carl Hagelin gets suspended three games for a similar hit,meanwhile a repeat offender like Ovechkin will get not even get a game.In this day and age when the league claims it’s doing all it can to protect player’s from concussion’s,it let’s stars get away with leaving their feet to deliver head shots.If anyone on 8th avenue had half a brain they would show true concern by suspending a star thus showing no one,regardless of their star power,is above the law.

    • sumthinsweet - May 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      It was shoulder to shoulder. He was protecting himself. There was nothing dirty about it. You should have watched some of the Boston series if you think this is physical hockey. The rangersare falling apart and worn out. Caps in 6

      • amonte13 - May 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        At 235lbs, he can ‘protect’ himself just fine by keeping his feet on the ice. Someone just got suspended 25 games for a similar hit, not saying Ovie deserves that, but he won’t get anything, and with his past history, that’s ridiculous.

  12. bmmayhew - May 5, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Milbury is a queen. He wears panty hose on camera. Ovie’s hit on that vagina was nothing.

  13. capsfan36 - May 5, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I find it really funny that rangers fans want a suspension here, yet no one is mentioning the Gaborik hit on Hendricks in game 2. Just saying if you want consistant calling, then call it both ways…good no call on ovi hit

  14. bthart22 - May 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Cheap shot … Left his feet … Leagues needs to show some sack … and I hate the Rangers.

  15. acieu - May 6, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    F the 4-

  16. polegojim - May 6, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    What should be investigated is Ovi’s absence for most of the series.

    • bmoreredfury311 - May 6, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      what series are you watching?..because i’m watching the one where he’s been hitting,shooting and has scored twice, including a game winner.. yea, your right, hes now where to be found.

      • polegojim - May 6, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        Ok then – one game winner, but absent for most of the playoffs. You do remember that it was just a couple games ago… he was benched, right?

      • bmoreredfury311 - May 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

        yes, that’s what needed to be done. and since then he’s been a true captain and playing all around better hockey then a one sided game.

  17. drewsylvania - May 6, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    National Hypocrisy League.

  18. verbalnyr21 - May 6, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    I am a die hard Rangers fan and I didn’t think for one second that the hit was cheap or dirty. In fact, I’ve been going to different websites to see everyone elses’ reaction, from players, to media, to fans on both sides. It’s hockey; it’s a physical sport. What I don’t agree with is Caps fans on here saying that Rangers fans have “become soft,” because let’s face it….If the roles were reversed, and Girardi made a little bit of contact with Ovi’s head, there would be some fans calling for the league to review the hit as well. It was a “questionable” hit…one that brought questions and a firestorm of controversy, so it is not egrigious to think other Rangers fans besides myself would call for review or suspension.

    • eggserino - May 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I agree with you that #8 only made a little contact with Girardi’s head.

      Does a player have to be injured/ get a concussion to warrant a fine or a suspension to the hitter when the league has specifically stated that it is trying to eliminate checks to the head?

      Where should the league draw the line? How severe does a hit to the head have to be to warrant a suspension? If the league does not completely crack down on this, are they opening themselves up to liability similar to what the NFL is seeing with the concussion class action lawsuit? If the league says that they are working to eliminate checks to the head but then does not act on what they said, is there negligence on the league’s part?

      I love hockey. I love fantastic body checks. I believe that players understand that they take risk when they play. In this case, the league has said that it is working to eliminate head checks from the game, yet they do not address a clear head check from a player with a history of making illegal body checks. I don’t care if he’s the best player ever to play the game. He needs to play the game the right way.

      There was absolutely no reason for #8 to leave his feet. The principal point of contact was the head. The league has stated that they want to get rid of checks to the head. What’s missing here?

  19. acieu - May 6, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Cindy is in Ky blowing horses

  20. blitzthepig - May 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Ovie received a penalty because of the hit. If a penalty is given shouldn’t there at least be a inquiry from the league?
    What is so frustrating is that the on ice officiating is inconsistent from game to game and the off ice discipline is inconsistent
    from incident to incident. Ovie has a problem with hits like this. He often leaves his skates. The NHL is doing itself a major
    disservice if they allow this kind of behavior to continue. Plus the fact that Brendan Shanahan takes into account if an injury occurs is ludicrous. The act of leaving one’s skates and hurling one’s body full force into the head of another is asking for trouble. If he doesn’t leap into Girardi he wouldn’t have hit his head. Ovie is being treated differently here no doubt.

  21. cspsrbums - May 6, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    If I knew how to post a photo of Ovi hit i would to show all of his right foot Is on the ground and the two shoulders make contact first again it’s a still shot but I am sure he slides up towards his head after contact. Ranger fans how do you want to win with the caps bench suspended extra PP ? come on get real this isn’t worth talking about the rangers lost that’s it move on

    • wvs923 - May 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I agree with this comment about the hit. It is hard to tell from the video that I saw that Ovechkin actually had both feet off theice. It is also hard to see if Ovechkin hit Girardi’s head first. From the video I saw it looks as if Ovechkin hit Girardi’s shoulder first. The second foot off the ice is debatable as it is hard to tell from the video even with the video stopped. Milbury may not have liked the hit, but even he could not tell that the second foot was off the ice. I think the refs made the right decision especially if you consider the speed of the play. I do not think any further punishment is necessary or warranted.

  22. drewsylvania - May 6, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    The difference between this hit and the Torres hit is:

    1) A couple inches
    2) 25 games

    The National Hypocrisy League continues….

  23. sabatimus - May 7, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Ovi left his feet to hit a defenseless player. The only difference between this and what Torres did is that the victim didn’t leave the ice on a stretcher. Ovi is a repeat offender. If you give Ovechkin one-fifth of Torres’ suspension, that’s 5 games. So give it to him. Or are you too much of a wimp, Shanny?

  24. hollywood26 - May 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I don’t watch a lot of hockey and so I don’t pretend to be an expert. hopefully someone can explain to me. Does every penalty called in a game go for review or just certain ones? If they say you can’t jump then it should have been a penalty and I’m a Caps fan. He jumped in my unbiased (because i cheer but don’t bleed for the caps) opinion. Now, what the penalty should be I don’t know. It didn’t look like he was trying to hurt the guy at all, but that he reacted. So if the rules say those type of hits are suspendable then he should be suspended. Again, i’m a caps fan. But as a casual spectator I have to say that hockey seems to have a lot of little nuances to the rules that leave too much to interpretation. It makes it hard as a new fan , and then guys like Melrose leave me even more confused.

  25. zinfman - May 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Simply a filthy cheap hit. As a Habs fan, we remember non calls for dirty play that should merit lengthy suspensions ( Chara anyone) this should get the soviet at least 3 games. Thank’s Bettman- your failures are killing the best sport in the world!

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Oshie (3873)
  2. M. Duchene (3286)
  3. B. Bishop (2674)
  4. D. Backes (2556)
  5. E. Malkin (2415)
  1. O. Palat (2384)
  2. R. Getzlaf (2347)
  3. S. Mason (2244)
  4. H. Zetterberg (2126)
  5. F. Andersen (1953)