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Monday, March 15, 2010

Boudreau's Glass is Spiked

It should not be surprising that Bruce Boudreau did his best to come off as being shocked that Alexander Ovechkin could possibly be suspended for his filthy shove of Brian Campbell on Sunday. However, if he thinks the following statement is warranted, then his serving of the Ovechkin Kool Aid is spiked:

"Alex is so much stronger than everyone else. So we're penalizing him for being strong."

Ovechkin is indeed big. He's strong, and he's intense. I know Boudreau is excited about the upcoming Clash of the Titans release, but his characterization of Ovechkin as Perseus is just embarrassing.

Initially, I had actually thought that beyond the prospect of a mandatory suspension due to his repeat-offender status (3 Game Misconduct strikes), Ovechkin shouldn't have suffered supplementary discipline for his dirty tactics this time around - the 5-minute major sufficed, in my view. However, Boudreau's statement above has so enraged me on the matter that I can no longer manage to maintain any objectivity.

Good riddance. Ovechkin is as filthy as they come.

You want to do your opponents some bodily harm? How about this for a starting 5:

Center: Mike Richards
Left Wing: Alexander Ovechkin
Right Wing: Todd Bertuzzi
Defense: Chris Pronger
Defense: Andy Sutton


  1. Bertuzzi is a one hit wonder more or less, why not replace him with Matt Cooke instead?

  2. I'd second replacing Bertuzzi with Cooke. Cookie has perfected the knee-on-knee.

  3. 1) Because Cooke is a left-winger, not a right-winger; and
    2) The starting five cited are players who I really think have intent to injure at the fore of their game (save Chris Pronger, who is listed for his ability to be suspended twice in the same playoff run).

    Cooke, Avery, Ruutu (the Jarkko flavor) - these guys are agitators at their core. Their recklessness can potentially result in injury, but from watching these guys play I don't believe that their foremost goal is to end a guy's night on the ice. The five guys listed, on the other hand, are out for blood (again, save Pronger. He just rounds out the field so well)

  4. ... One follow-on thought on the difference between an at-heart agitator and an at-heart bloodthirsty goon who may or may not have supplementary hockey skills.

    If I had to bet a nickel, I would say that given suspensions, fines, and the devastating results of their reckless styles of play, an agitator would be less likely to repeat his tactics. Those of the bloodthirsty ilk - such as Ovechkin - can be suspended as many times as you want, and they'll drive straight into their opponent's knee, leave their feet to make sure they get their opponent's head good and proper, and take the Philadelphia driver perspective on yellow traffic lights when faced with the back of an opponent's uniform (i.e., go faster).

    Cooke is the closest to the line of the group of agitators I cited. Given the severity of Savard's injury, my hypothesis will indeed be tested (if he lives through the upcoming rematch with the B's himself, that is).

  5. Don't gloss over Cooke's long history of knee-on-knee's.

  6. I've heard this thought, though I haven't seen it first-hand like I have his recent head shots. Did his knee-on-knee hits occur before he was with Pittsburgh? And did they result in significant missed playing time? I would not suggest that an opponent missing playing time is required for a play to be dirty, but under my assumption above, it may be a wakeup call that sorts out agitators from goons.

    By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, if there was one player on Pittsburgh's roster that I would dismiss, it would be Matt Cooke. I've been of this view virtually since he arrived in Pittsburgh (I much preferreed Jarkko Ruutu for that role). I just don't like rooting for the guy given his style of play.


    Many of the examples here are in Vancouver and Washington, though Cooke's knee-on-knee against Carolina (Erik Cole) remains fresh in my mind.


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