Nigel Dawes was one of the few Calgary Flames who caught the hit Alexander Ovechkin laid on Brian Campbell which resulted in the two-game suspension handed the Washington Capitals star.
And Dawes clearly didn’t like what he saw.
“It’s a dangerous hit. You never want to see players go into the boards like that,” Dawes said. “I wouldn’t say he ran him, but the way the play developed and the way (Campbell) went in (to the boards), it’s tough to see plays like that.”
Most Flames didn’t see the incident prior to Monday’s morning skate because they were busy when it happened, preparing and then playing their own game Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks.
Dawes, a healthy scratch for that 3-1 loss, did see it, but wouldn’t go as far as to call Ovechkin a dirty player.
“He plays the game on the edge, obviously. He’s a warrior out there and plays hard and battles every night,” Dawes said. “There’s lines he walks sometimes, and I think when you play the game like that, you’re going to have those instances when you ... may cross. Mainly, he’s playing hard.”
In the case of the hit on Campbell, the league said too hard.
Midway through the first period of Washington’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Campbell played the puck as he was skating toward the end boards.
Ovechkin shoved Campbell from behind after the puck was moved, which sent the Blackhawks defenceman crashing into the end boards.
According to reports, Campbell suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs.
Ovechkin was handed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, his third game misconduct of the season.
Ovechkin, who leads the league in points with 96 and second with 45 goals, has been in trouble with the powers that be a few times already this season. He was fined for slew-footing Altanta’s Rich Peverley, ejected for boarding Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta and handed a two-game suspension for kneeing Carolina’s Tim Gleason.
Still, a suspension obviously came as something as a surprise to much of the hockey world, especially in light of the fact Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke wasn’t suspended for his head hit on Boston’s Marc Savard.
“You saw a head shot last week and nothing happened so to me it’s going to be interesting to see how the league is going to respond to this,” said Detroit forward Kris Draper, before the suspension was handed down yesterday afternoon. “You saw Savard lying on the ice out cold and nothing happened. Now we’ll see how the league responds to this, but something has to be done. You can’t keep losing players. There has to be some accountability and I thought they had a chance last week and it didn’t happen.”
Said Wings coach Mike Babcock: “Well I didn’t comment on the Cooke one and now here we are. To me the other one (Cooke) is way worse than this one.”