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Has Ovechkin’s reputation suffered after suspension?

Bruce Boudreau was on 93.7 The Fan earlier today in advance of tomorrow night’s EPIC matchup between the Penguins and Capitals, and among a wide variety of topics he discussed the reputations of both Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Specifically, he was asked whether Ovechkin’s suspensions have tarnished his reputation at all. Via Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Blog:

“In Pittsburgh, maybe,” Boudreau cracked. “Look, we all love him here in Washington. I don’t know. He plays hard. And when you play as hard every night as he does, things are gonna happen. He got suspended and reprimanded and everything, but the same thing can be said about Sidney. I mean, you look a the end of last night’s game, which happens a lot. [Crosby] competes so hard, I mean, he ends up in that scrum at the end. I don’t think his image of being a great player is tarnished by the amount of little feuds he’s gotten into in the course of this year. But I mean, Ovi’s suspensions are again nationwide, or two nations wide, and you hear it all the time. It may have, I have no idea. Not to us, that’s all I know.”

Over the past few weeks I’ve found it interesting how Penguins fans have turned Ovechkin’s suspension into a battle cry that Crosby is that much better, much more of a classy player. Crosby plays the game with just as much emotion as Ovechkin and he plays it right there on the edge as well -- as evidenced by his endless cross checking of Henrik Zetterberg last night.

Steinberg would go on to discuss regional bias and how it affect’s one’s views of Crosby and Ovechkin. Has Ovechkin’s reputation taken a hit nationally because of this latest suspension? I’m sure it hasn’t helped, but I doubt a number of neutral hockey fans suddenly turned tail and ran over to Crosby’s side of the playground.