How Did Alex Ovechkin Get Hurt?


Photo credit: Rich Lam

Sometime during Monday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin suffered an upper body injury. “I think [the injury happened] in the first period sometime,” head coach Adam Oates said to Monumental Network on Wednesday. “He was sore. [Head athletic trainer Greg Smith ] told me he was a little sore. I think as the game went along probably a little sorer. Yesterday was an off-day, we traveled, so he’s getting checked out today.”

Oates confirmed that Ovi was not suffering from a concussion. Thursday morning, Mike Vogel announced Ovechkin would not travel to Philadelphia and miss Friday’s game.

I re-watched the entire first period of the game Wednesday night. Frequent RMNB GIF contributor Hana Imiolczyk (welshhockeyfan) did too. When did Ovechkin get hurt and what is the nature of the injury?

Here’s what we pieced together.


Forty-two seconds into the game, Alex Ovechkin got his first shift. It was eventful. First, the Russian machine harmlessly knocked over Daniel Sedin from behind in the offensive zone.


Hm, no apparent injury there– at least not to Ovechkin.

Twenty seconds later, The Great Eight was sprung on a breakaway.

As Ovi breaks in alone on goal, Alexander Edler trips the three-time Hart trophy winner from behind.


Ovechkin’s torso and ribs land on his left wrist, left arm, and his stick.


Ovechkin lies in the goal for 10 to 15 seconds before finally getting up. It’s unclear if he was winded from the play, disappointed that he didn’t score, or injured and taking his time to get up.

Ovechkin was awarded a penalty shot for his efforts. He did not score, failing to get much lift on the shot. It would be the only shot he registered in the period.

A minute later, the Canucks’ Ryan Stanton held Joel Ward. The Caps went on the powerplay. Ovechkin took his second shift of the game, filling his normal spot on the Caps’ first line power play unit.

During this shift, the normally aggressive Ovechkin appears timid, looking to pass over shooting. At one momenet, when he dishes to Mike Green at the point, Ovechkin looks a bit hindered.


A few minutes later, Ovechkin got another shift. As the puck is frozen by Luongo, Ovechkin shrugs his left arm.


For the rest of the first period, Ovechkin looked like himself. He delivered hit after hit after hit. He showed the normal Ovi aggressiveness, except for shooting the puck.

With two seconds left in the period however, Dan Hamhuis catches Ovechkin at the red line with a hit that catches him in the left arm and ribs.


Ovechkin skates off the ice slowly.



In the second and third periods, Ovechkin attempted only three more shots, getting two on net. His three shots on the game are way below his average this season.

So, the injury. After re-watching the film, Ovechkin appeared to be struggling with either a left-wrist or left-arm injury. He could also be dealing from some sort of rib ailment on his left side.

Whatever the injury is, it definitely appears to have happened when he was tripped up on his breakaway in the first minute of the game.

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  • DCFanFirst

    As he’s skating off, Ovi appears to be looking down at his right foot as he lifts it up. Frustrated, or looking at an ankle?

  • Joe

    This is a good analysis. But my takeaway is how stupid Mcphee and the NHL are for not just telllng people what the injuries are and how they happened.

  • Alzy27

    They do that so other plays don’t target the injured area when they return to the lineup.

  • JRedman9

    Maybe it was the way his shoulder crashed into the net post?

  • Joe

    I know that is the line they give. But I think that is silly. The NFL doesn’t see the need to do it and that is as physical sport, or more so, than hockey. I think it is ridiculous.

  • brian!

    I agree, the full disclosure is nice. The conspiracy theory is the NFL discloses everything so the gambling community can alter their lines and such accordingly. Keep in mind, fully disclosing all NFL injuries is a system ripe for exploitation too.

  • brian!

    I think the cause of delay in Ovi exiting the net is more related to him staring down the business end of Luongo’s skate blades.

  • Guest

    For games where Ovi is out, they can just promote MattyP to the top line and he’ll get another hat trick, right?

  • JH

    Maybe I have right and left confused, but it looks like when he was tripped on the breakaway he landed on his right, no?

  • JH

    And that last gif he’s just looking at his skate.

  • JH

    What does McPhee have to do with it? Troll.

  • Joe

    You need to do a little research. McPhee is one of the NHL’s strongest proponents of nondisclosure of injuries and has been for years.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Thought he didn’t have his usual level of compete. Didnt really battle for pucks in the offensive zone at times.

  • CDizz

    This makes me sad.