I saw a clip on TV last night and couldn't believe my eyes. Hockey is a physical game. Almost no game is "complete" without some sort of fight, BUT you be the judge...
Sunday (i.e. 3/14/2010), Washington Capitals' Ovechkin was ejected and received a 2 game suspension, after his move on the Chicago Blackhawks' Brian Campbell. Ovechkin pushed Campbell into the boards, and Campbell has a broken collarbone. He won't need surgery but will miss the rest of the season. This is a clip of Ovechkin's hit on Campbell.
Now, check out Steve Downie's move on Sydney Crosby from 3/14/2010. I know there are plenty of people who don't like Crosby, especially in the DC/MD/VA area (i.e. home of the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin), but come on... Downie's "move" is absurd and he only received a $1,000 fine (i.e. no suspension)?!?!
According to Wikipedia:
Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player violently pushes or checks an opposing player into the boards of the hockey rink, when the player is facing the board. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded, and officials have the discretion to call a game misconduct on the offending player. However, if no injury is sustained, then a minor penalty will be called. In college hockey, the player does not need to be injured for it to be a major penalty. Boarding is usually assessed to a player when the opposing player is hit 4–5 feet away from the boards and hits their head against the boards on the way down.
I'm not going to get into the difference between a minor and a major penalty because that should be "obvious" IN THEORY. If you want to read the rules ~ buy the book (i.e. link inserted for your convenience).
Seriously?!?!? There's a difference between pushing someone into the boards and hooking a leg. I'd argue that Downie's move has intent to cause harm, and Ovechkin's was not. I can't prove it, but I'd argue it.
So let me get this straight. You're allowed to hook another guys' leg with yours and try to tear his ACL, but if you're Alex Ovechkin and known for physical/aggressive play and commit a boarding penalty you're going to serve a suspension... Unbelievable.
Growing up, I was a bit of a mean/rougher, tomboy kid. I'm MUCH nicer now. TRUST ME. I haven't kicked anyone in the shins in years. Alas, I digress... When I was younger, I was a little sneaky and loved to torment my brother and the little kids around me. I was the "original" suspect if anyone was hurt or something was wrong. Why? My mom said, it's because I was developing a reputation ~ so in her opinion, it basically made sense to approach me first if my brother or another kid was crying/hurt (i.e. as a result, I think I was unfairly punished more, even when I basically did nothing). It's no secret that Ovechkin has a reputation for being an aggressive player, and I think in this case, the NHL punished him based on reputation and not the severity of the offense.
Here's a link for all the hockey whiners out there...