Ovechkin and Versteeg: Aggressive Hugging

Ovechkin and Versteeg hug it out.

Alex Ovechkin has been trying some different things this season: right wing, the half wall on the power play, and now… fighting.

Just over a minute into the game, Ovi delivered what seemed to be a clean hit to Kris Versteeg in the corner. The former Blackhawk went down hard on the hit before laying on the ice for a minute with an apparent injury.

He wasn’t hurt for long.

A shift later, Versteeg was back to playing hockey. If by hockey you mean cross-checking Ovechkin in the neutral zone before dropping the gloves.

It was majestic. It also wasn’t actually a fight. The two received matching minors for roughing with Versteeg getting an extra two for his stick foul.

Mike Ribeiro scored on the ensuing power play, making the whole sequence a total fiasco for Versteeg.

Ovi’s known as a rough player, but his history of fighting is slim. Ovechkin’s first time bare knuckle brawling was in 2006, his sophomore season, when he got into a cat fight in front of the net with Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game. Ovi’s regular season fighting debut came later in the year when the Great Eight boarded Sabres forward Danny Briere. Paul Gaustad took exception and jumped Ovechkin before Ovi’s teammates stepped in. It was over three years before his next (almost) NHL bout, in early 2010. As Ovechkin and Steve Downie dropped the gloves in Tampa, everyone’s hero Matt Bradley came flying in to take the punches instead. The next season, the middle of the team’s pathetic 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers in the HBO 24/7 days, Ovi dished out a low hit on Dan Girardi. Ovechkin and Bradon Dubinsky then traded right hook whiffs before tumbling to the ice

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  • Bryant Thomas

    everything about this event was dumb. except maybe this blog post.

  • Maybe.

  • meh

  • I hope Matt and Big John take the chance to teach him a thing or two. Ovi does have a LOT of weight on him, but that doesn’t matter much when you have two extra huggers sharing the cabin to PunchTown.

  • Meia1

    So does Ovi’s aggressive hug, a goal and an assist qualify for a Gordie Howe hat trick?

  • Sadly: no. It qualifies him for a Chet Howe, Gordie’s second cousin, a successful taxidermist from Michigan who died in a freak meat thresher accident.

  • Duane

    Dirty hit. Ovechkin is known for so many bad hits, if it was anybody else he would have been fined or suspended. Not sure what he was trying to do in the fight either, the much smaller Versteeg would have pounded Ovi if he didn’t do whatever it was he was doing.