Monday evening was epic in Raleigh, NC because the Carolina Hurricanes hosted the Washington Capitals in what was their first house playoff recreation in a decade. A capability crowd was loud and all-in to assist their group battle again from being down 2-Zero within the collection to the defending Stanley Cup champion.
Within the first interval, Andrei Svechnikov and Alex Ovechkin dropped the gloves. What ensued was not fairly, as Ovechkin pounded Svechnikov, whose head bounced off the ice as he went down apparently unconscious from a giant Ovechkin roundhouse punch.
Svechnikov needed to be helped off the ice and didn’t return to the sport. Tuesday morning the Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour mentioned that “Svech” is within the concussion protocol and isn’t prone to play in Thursday evening’s upcoming recreation with the Caps.
Feelings and Svechnikov vs Ovechkin
Feelings have been at a fever pitch in Raleigh’s PNC Enviornment. It’s a part of the attract of playoff hockey. The followers are in it from the opening puck drop to the very finish. Additionally, the gamers are wound up emotionally, realizing what’s at stake with each mistake.
There’s nothing in all the sports activities universe to match the emotional depth of the NHL playoffs. It’s this depth from the gamers that feed the followers which in flip feeds the gamers and on and on. Each irritant from an opposing participant may be magnified in one of these setting.
Svechnikov Provoked, or Misplaced His Cool?
In almost all the post-fight evaluation, there appears to be some settlement that Ovechkin had been “needling” Svechnikov all collection lengthy. At 19 years outdated, Svechnikov was working broad open emotionally. As much as that time, he was the main scorer for the Hurricanes within the playoffs and was matched repeatedly with the veteran Ovechkin.
Carolina Hurricanes proper wing Andrei Svechnikov (Picture by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)
“Ovi” is aware of the best way to get beneath the pores and skin of his opponents. Some name him a unclean participant, others name him skilled. Svechnikov discovered himself on the receiving finish of stick checks and different irritants that lastly boiled over. However, others say that it was Svechnikov doing the irritating and instigating of the struggle. Once more, playoff hockey adrenaline is like no different and possibly the testosterone is, too.
In hindsight, there’s nothing noble what he did. He received pulverized and now could also be out for the remainder of the collection. Ask Jeff Skinner about concussions early in your profession. Hopefully, Svechnikov has discovered that strolling away is a greater various than posting up with somebody like Ovechkin.
There are Two Sides to Each Combat
Brind’Amour mentioned after the sport, “It’s just a little bit powerful as a result of I simply heard Ovi discuss it; he mentioned our man challenged him. So, if that’s the case, it’s just a little completely different. For those who watch the video, he slashes him twice — Ovi, whack, whack — then Svech will get him again. I don’t know if there’s phrases exchanged, however one man’s gloves come off manner first. And that’s Ovi, not our man.”
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin fights Carolina Hurricanes proper wing Andrei Svechnikov (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Ovechkin blamed Svechnikov and Brind’Amour noticed it in another way. On the finish of the day does it actually matter? It’s fodder on either side for social media, however the groups have moved on. Everybody hopes that Svechnikov shall be okay, however they aren’t dwelling on it…they will’t.
#Canes head coach Rod Brind’Amour mentioned Andrei Svechnikov is within the concussion protocol. Went to the hospital final evening and “every part checked out,” in accordance with Brind’Amour.— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) April 16, 2019The Hurricanes have one other recreation Thursday evening wherein they should summon the identical degree of emotion to try to pull even within the collection. The Capitals should act like they care about Recreation four and make it aggressive.
Hurricanes Have to Get More durable
One query that got here out of Monday evening’s Svechnikov vs Ovechkin bout was “Do the Hurricanes want an enforcer kind of participant?” The NHL has moved a great distance away from the times of goons and enforcers, however are the ‘Canes susceptible to incidents like what occurred with Svechnikov? Who was there on the group to step up for him in the event that they determined to retaliate in opposition to Ovechkin?
The reply is no one. Micheal Ferland has been the group’s most concerned fighter this season, however he has a lingering upper-body harm problem that triggered him to have to go away Monday evening’s recreation about the identical time Svechnikov needed to go away and never return.
Carolina Hurricanes left wing Micheal Ferland (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports activities)
The Hurricanes are largely a younger group. Does common supervisor Don Waddell have to spend time this offseason in search of a veteran participant who can sq. off with guys like Ovechkin when obligatory? (Ovechkin had not been in a struggle in years so he’s not essentially a goal for groups. Tom Wilson however…)
On reflection, Svechnikov ought to have left his gloves on and never challenged Ovechkin – or accepted his problem if that have been the case. A 19-year-old who’s by no means fought mustn’t sq. off in opposition to Ovechkin. The struggle didn’t give the ‘Canes contemporary momentum or power as they’d an abundance of that each one recreation.
Brind’Amour mentioned Tuesday he noticed Svechnikov and that he seems to be good. Maybe he dodged a bullet and gained’t endure long-term penalties from a concussion. Svechnikov has in all probability the brightest way forward for anybody on the Hurricanes’ roster, with the potential exception of Aho. He must be good and perceive that preventing is just not the place he’s going to make his mark within the NHL.