Freaky Monday, crazy injuries in the NHL

Putting personal opinions aside and focusing on the actual play, it appears the National Hockey League has a perfect chance to prove it won’t baby its superstars.

Alex Ovechkin took a run at Carolina’s Tim Gleason, injuring himself and receiving an ejection for the second time in less than a week. Monday’s ejection was for kneeing as Ovechkin clearly stuck his right knee out to prevent Gleason from proceeding out of his own end.

The Caps superstar was ejected Wednesday for boarding in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

The run Ovechkin took on Gleason was eerily similar to the shot on Sergei Gonchar that enraged many Pens’ fans in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Here’s the video. You be the judge.

And the hit from the playoffs…

I can understand giving a guy a break for an errant knee. The problem here is the fact that Ovechkin has a history of taking runs at players.

Now, you’d think a hit in which he injured himself might prevent it from happening again. But think again.

Ovechkin showed little remorse after being ejected for boarding Wednesday, claiming “I can’t do nothing about it. I just play my game. I’m not going to change. It’s me.”

Hopefully the NHL front office uses this hit as an opportunity to show it doesn’t necessarily pamper its superstars. In the same light, the league could take a step in preventing hits like these from ever happening again.

Luckily Gleason was able to return to the game just two shifts later. Gonchar wasn’t as lucky, but was able to return to the lineup again in the same series.

Those type of shots can end careers and, while he is arguably the best player in the league and the world, serving him a suspension would make huge waves within the league. Suspending such a high-profile player can only help the situation.

And while Ovechkin was punishing opponents — and himself — with a stray knee, Keith Ballard was taking his frustrations out on his own goalie.

The worst part of this is that Ballard, after hitting Thomas Vokoun in the head, decides to take another swing and successfully break his stick on the post while his teammate lies in pain on the ice.

Not much else to say. That goes down as one of the weirdest injuries I’ve ever seen.

Chris | PPT

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