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Campbell Gets Another Chance

When it rains, it pours.

NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell has been handed another opportunity. Will he use this opportunity to further embarrass himself and the league, or will he stick to his new found standard of consistency?

Alexander Ovechkin, a reckless runaway train on NHL ice surfaces, and now hopefully labeled as repeat offender was at it again today vs the Blackhawks. In case you have not seen it, here’s the hit:

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If that isn’t a suspendable hit given the climate in the NHL today, then I don’t know what is. Except for the fact that Ovechkin is the league’s biggest star. Or in the top 2. Take your pick, it doesn’t really matter.

Last week Canadiens motor mouth Maxim Lapierre was suspended for four games for a nasty, boneheaded hit from behind on Sharks forward Scott Nichol. To refresh your memory, here is the video on that hit:

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On the surface they may look slightly different, but in the end, they are both in fact the same thing. Both were from behind, and both shoved defenseless opponents headlong in to the boards at high speed. Lapierre was suspended four games for his hit, and deservedly so. While he is a mouthy player who refuses to back up his words by dropping his gloves, he had not yet been suspended by the NHL. Contrast this with Ovechkin who has been suspended once already this year (no doubt begrudgingly), and has many questionable hits on his resume, including others from behind, and knee-on-knee. It’s clear that while some would dismiss the wreckage in Ovechkin’s wake as a byproduct of his aggressive, reckless abandon style of play, there’s no doubt that the focus should be on reckless.

So again the ball is in Campbell’s court. In just about everyone’s eyes, he dropped the ball by not suspending Penguins forward Matt Cooke under the “intent to injure” leeway that he has. He cited consistency as his reason for his inaction. To him it was more important to remain consistently wrong, because he did not suspend Flyers forward Mike Richards early in the season. If being consistent is his new mantra, then we should look forward to seeing a suspension of at least four games, should we not?

I am not going to hold my breath, because Campbell has given hockey fans no reason to have faith in him, but with the entire hockey world watching for dirty hits and Campbell’s reactions, he can’t afford to drop the ball again. But haven’t we heard this before?

Also embarassing was NBC’s reaction to the hit. While Ray Ferraro nearly had a stroke decrying Lapierre’s hit, barely anything at all was said of Ovechkin’s dirty hit. Pierre McGuire was notably silent on the issue, and when was the last time that happened? I’m not a conspiracy theory guy, but it’s not hard to imagine that they were being told to not get too critical of the game’s main attraction.

What’s your opinion on this latest questionable hit from Ovechkin? Will his status as a star save him again, or will the league do the right thing for once?

  • Chuck

    From Dregger

    “NHL is defining “boarding” now and in light of the severity of B.Campbell’s injury, Ovechkin may face suspension.”

    Sounds more like they are trying to find away not to suspend him again. How do you define that????

  • http://www.thecheckingline.com Prax

    Apparently he’s not a repeat offender, because the league has cleared him of any prior hits from behind and his suspension was for a knee-on-knee.

    As I said in my own blog about this, it’s as if I rob a TD bank and go to jail. When I get out, I rob a Scotiabank, but it’s not the same thing because they’re different banks. It’s totally ludicrous.

  • http://www.cowhideandrubber.com Kyle

    It makes my blood boil too, Prax. It’s disgusting how the league creates 1 set or rules for the regular player, and another set of rules for stars.

    What makes even more sick is the people defending the hit. It was from behind. It was dangerous, it caused injury, and it was from a repeat offender. But apparently none of that matters because it’s Ovi.

  • http://www.thecheckingline.com Prax

    I don’t think there’s any remorse (and yes I know it’s sarcasm :P). Ovechkin does these things because he knows he can get away with them, and until someone can finally get the message through to him by sitting him out for an extended period of time or until he nearly kills someone on the ice, he’s not going to stop.

    Now TSN is saying he probably won’t be suspended. It makes my blood boil.

  • http://www.cowhideandrubber.com Kyle

    haha! I think the remorse is not so much about him hurting someone more than it is about “oh no, I did it again”.

    Thanks for stopping by Olivier!

  • http://enattendantlesnordiques.blogspot.com/ Olivier

    But but but, look at Ovechkin’s face! He’s standing there, and he looks so *remorseful*! Shouldn’t that be taken into acount? Compare with that sneaky Lapierre…

    I’m not very good at sarcasm, but I’m working on it.

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