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Alex Ovechkin doesn’t plan on changing his ways

For better or worse, Alex Ovechkin isn’t planning on changing the way he plays, even after his second suspension this season for an illegal hit. This latest transgression wasn’t brutal, but it was reckless, and Ovechkin has been criticized his entire career for his sometimes over the top play.

He’s the best player in the NHL. Why change now, right?

Via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:

“No, I just, I know what guys can say: Maybe it was a good hit, maybe it was a bad hit.” Ovechkin said. “Everybody has his own mind. And if you’re gonna listen to everybody, you’re gonna be just crazy. You can kill yourself. And so I think it happens, and it’s pretty sad [Brian Campbell] get hurt, but it’s life, it’s hockey.”

NBC Washington’s Dan Hellie than asked for the best piece of advice he’s heard on this matter: “Don’t stop playing how you play,” Ovechkin said.

Like I’ve said before, I have taken no sides in the supposed Team Ovi vs. Team Crosby debate. I am not an Ovechkin hater.

But saying that he doesn’t need to change his playing style is borderline delusional. I can certainly understand his reasoning; he hasn’t become the most exciting hockey player in the world by playing timid or soft. But he says that he doesn’t want to hurt any one, yet that is what is happening more and more often. The NHL is going to start coming down harder on illegal hits.

I’m not saying he needs to play any less energetic or physical, he just needs to play smarter hockey.

That’s apparently not going to happen anytime soon. His coach maintains the hit on Brian Campbell was just an unfortunate hockey play that resulted in an injury; he’s certainly not encouraging his star player to let up any.