NOT NASHTY ENOUGH
So, the NHL decided not to suspend Rick Nash for his hit on Tomas Kopecky, even though Brendan Shanahan called it “rotten.” Surely this decision would have been the same if Kopecky clobbered Nash the same way, right?
At this point, I think we’re all just beaten down by the erratic justice system. It will probably take a truly horrific, grossly negligent hit to really rile people up about the next baffling decision.
Really, the thing that’s frustrating is that the league will look the other way when stars do dirty things and also look the other way when they’re impeded regularly by hooks, grabs and clutches. It’s basically the exact opposite of what you’d like to see in a healthy sport, but I digress.
The New Jersey Devils ambled gingerly out of Martin Brodeur’s month-long absence, but will their playoff hopes survive Ilya Kovalchuk’s shoulder injury? The Russian star suffered it sometime during Saturday’s game and the early word is that he could miss between 2-4 weeks with the ailment.
Kovalchuk is one of the league’s sturdiest star players - especially since he usually logs the minutes of a No. 1 defenseman - so it must be a pretty painful injury to keep him out. Anyone who questions his desire or toughness at this point might as well get “xenophobe” tattooed on his or her forehead.
Speaking of brilliant Russians who inspire a lot of misplaced ire, Alex Ovechkin sure looks like BucketsfullofFun Ovi instead of CouldverywellbelisteningtoMorrissey lately, doesn’t he?
Ovechkin now has a five-game goal streak (six goals and three assists for nine points), yet it’s not just the points that make his recent play encouraging. He’s doing the all-over-the-place stuff that made him the human embodiment of video game hockey again.
He had five hits on Sunday and has had at least three hits in all but one of his last seven games. In that time, he's also clocked about five shots on goal per contest. Yup, that sounds like the Ovechkin we all thought we knew and loved.
It sounds like David Booth’s ankle injury has ended his season, which is a bummer, but Booth owners probably punted that ball quite a while ago anyway. Things really haven’t been the same for the winger since Mike Richards absolutely obliterated him with that “legal” hit quite a few moons ago. Hopefully he can get it back together eventually, though.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ point streak ended at 12 games while the Penguins (barely) extended their winning streak to that same mark this weekend … Tobias Enstrom scored a goal in his return from a lengthy shoulder injury … Ryan Wilson’s season might be over after aggravating a prior ankle problem … Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was placed on the IR with an illness that might need to be called “an illness” if it sidelines him much longer … Daniel Briere’s ugly season continues with another injury … Mike Smith remains day-to-day … John Michael-Liles is day-to-day with a lower-body issue.