Listen, I’d love to get all riled up about Alexander Ovechkin and how he’s a cheap shot artist, but the truth is he’s not. He plays the same kind of game Pat Kaleta plays, it just so happens that Ovechkin has the game’s best natural scoring ability. That puts them on completely different levels on a lot of things, but not laying a body check.
Was it from behind? Yeah, sort of. Was it a penalty? Yes. However, to call a five and a game as the first penalty of the game in the third period? Well, that seems like a bit much to me. I don’t think Ovechkin should get suspended and he won’t anyway: he’s done much worse before and gotten off with no penalties at all. I’ve never been a fan of the “make an example of them” theory, and I doubt a guy like Ovechkin is the example to make.
Either way, what matters most is that in the end it was irrelevant. Buffalo couldn’t score on the power play, and they couldn’t score all night. The real damage AO did came in the first period, and that was all that mattered.
More on that in a bit.