Sunday, May 6, 2007

Ovechkin suspended at Worlds

Alexander Ovechkin was rapped with a one-game suspension today by the disciplinary committee of the IIHF. Ovechkin is serving the suspension for putting a check from behind on Switzerland's Valentin Wirz during their match on Saturday. Wirz suffered a concussion, per Swiss coach Ralph Krueger. After the hit, Ovechkin was served with a five minute major and a game misconduct. He will miss Monday's Russia-Sweden game. Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov had this to say:

"I've talked to Ovechkin and he said the hit wasn't intentional," Bykov told reporters.
Over the course of this season, Ovechkin has faced some controversy in the NHL over a couple hard hits. The infamous Briere hit that he was fined a thousand bucks for pops to mind. But as Ovechkin has said, none of his hits that are precieved as dirty are intentional, and the footage only proves that. As anyone who has watched Ovie play can tell you, he isnt a dirty player - he doesn't have to be to win (ahem, paging Sean Avery and Claude Lemieux). Realistically, that amount of on-ice intensity from a guy who is 6'2 and 200 pounds plus is going to lead to some hard hits. The IIHF widget at the top of the page has a blog about this from the crew in Russia.

UPDATE: Tarik El-Bashir has video of the hit here.

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