Why Alexander Ovechkin Is One of the Dirtiest Players in the NHL

John GalloContributor IIOctober 13, 2010

Why Alexander Ovechkin Is One of the Dirtiest Players in the NHL

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    WASHINGTON - APRIL 28: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates as Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates away following the Canadiens 2-1 win in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    There are a couple of major fanbases with the NHL: those that like Sidney Crosby and hate Alexander Ovechkin, those that hate Crosby and like Ovechkin, and those (myself included) that just can't stand either of them.

    The first two go back and forth describing how Crosby is the second coming of Wayne Gretzky and Ovechkin is just a goon, while the second says Ovechkin is "just a badass!" and Crosby is a baby.

    Personally, I can't stand Ovechkin because of the dirty play that a lot of people sweep under the rug because he can score so well. Here are some videos highlighting the dirtiness of his game and why he really should just leave.

    Now, I understand that occasionally a player makes a bad/dirty hit; it happens. But the regularity and lack of concern for other players' safety is what really sets Ovechkin apart in this regard, and not in a good way.

Hit on Daniel Briere

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    In this video, Daniel Briere dumps the puck and pulls up along the boards by his bench for a line change. The puck is LONG gone, yet Ovechkin continues to rail him.

    Further proof that he is a cheap-shot artist is the fact that when Briere's teammate confronts him, he curls up into a ball.

Hit on Patrick Kaleta

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    In this video, Patrick Kaleta receives a pass from a teammate, makes an outlet pass and then gets railed by Ovechkin from behind and dropped.

    This hit was vaguely similar to the Niklas Hjalmarsson hit (I know this will come up) but is different in a few key aspects.

    One, Ovechkin came from the center ice all the way to hit him. Two, the pass and the puck were gone. Three, Ovechkin dodged the shoulder to get him in the back.

Hit on Dustin Brown

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    Now, even though Ovechkin seemed to get the short end of the stick on this one, and not many things make me happier, the entire thing was his fault and completely unnecessary.

    After a hit in the corner on the opposite end, Ovechkin gets slightly interfered with by Dustin Brown and ends up throwing a check/fist to his face in front of the net, from the back and side of him. Luckily, Brown got up all right, but seriously? Grow up, OV.

Ovechkin Boards Brian Campbell

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    As a Hawks fan, this one really irks me. Brian Campbell is bringing the puck around, Ovechkin goes HARD to catch up, sees Campbell pass the puck and shoves an off-balance Campbell into the wall, boarding style, after the play is already long gone.

    Even afterward, OV just sits there on his knee looking at Campbell.

    With the last view, you see OV look and see the puck gone and put everything he's got into shoving Campbell head/shoulder first into the wall from a DANGEROUS location.

Slewfoot on Rick Peverly

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    As a personal opinion, the slewfoot is one of the most dangerous, and absurd, actions in the game. You've taken the player down; he's out of the play. Why go for the dangerous injury?

    For anyone who doesn't know, a slewfoot is the action of taking a player's legs out from under them with your leg during a hit, leaving them unable to control how they fall and usually resulting in falling over backwards onto their head. Incredibly dangerous, incredibly stupid.

    Yet Ovechkin does it and then gets mad at the refs for the penalty. Unbelievable.

Headhunt on Jamie Heward

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    In this video, Ovechkin makes a hit on Heward that should have been a clean hit. Heward had the puck, and Ovechkin followed him and hit him from the side. Everything should've been okay.

    What was unnecessary was the leaving of the feet and the targeting of the head, leaving Heward to need a stretcher. What a jerk.

Knee-to-Knee on Sergei Gonchar

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    Now, before anybody comments, I know what the OVie lovers are gonna say: "But he was going for the hit and Gonchar moved! That's not his fault!" (Imagine the voice and inflection of a whiny five-year-old too.) That may be so, and it did look like that.

    The part that makes this dirty is the fact that OVie is about five or six inches in the air, and when he realizes Gonchar has moved, he sticks his leg out to catch him on the knee.

    There is another slide later involving a Penguin. Ovechkin must really not like players who play with Crosby or have a Cup.

Knee-to-Knee on Tim Gleason

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    Again, this is another clip where Ovechkin hurts himself, and to take a line from the commentary, "creates his own misery." This is another one where the player dodges Ovechkin's hit and he just sticks his leg out there, hoping for the knee.

    That may seem like speculation, but a player who routinely does actions intending to hurt other players will do it again—no matter how much time he loses due to suspension or money due to fines.

Firing a Puck at Rob Scuderi's Head

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    In this clip, Ovechkin blatantly fires the puck at Rob Scuderi, aiming for the head. Now, I will agree with anyone that OV has one of the most accurate shots in the NHL, so I highly doubt that this was "an accident."

    This also occurred during the same game as the Gonchar hit, so he was undoubtedly pissed off because he believes that he's Ovechkin so he can jump into players and go knee-to-knee without a penalty.

So What?

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    WASHINGTON DC, DC - APRIL 23:  Andrei Markov #79 of the Montreal Canadiens avoids a hit from Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    After the slides, and I hope watching the videos, it's blatantly obvious that a player with an attitude and lack of caring for fellow players really has no place in a league trying to "right the ship" on penalties and dirty play.

    Every team has its enforcer, but they do so cleanly (for the most part) and not with the intent to injure.

    Every player has his accidental dirty plays, but the sheer number of incidents in the time Ovechkin has been in this league shows he does not and will not care.

    Now, bring on the hate comments!