Late in the second period, the Washington Capitals fell behind to the Ottawa Senators 3-0. The Caps appeared tired from playing their third game in four nights. Either frustrated or trying to light a fire under his team, captain Alex Ovechkin took a rare opportunity to get physical.
After taking a slash in the shins from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ovechkin went into Must Break You mode and tried to crush the tiny, 180-pound center.
Yeah. That was maybe not the smartest decision by Pageau.
And of course, here’s the footage in slow motion.
To summarize, Ovechkin – utilizing some Greco-Roman-esque grappling – grabbed Pageau by the face, pulled him into his stomach area, and then, I guess, tried to suffocate him. The two players fell over onto the ice before being separated by officials.
Both players were given two-minute minors for roughing.
“Ovechkin with the takedown,” Senators’ color commentator Gord Wilson said. “He tried to smother him. I don’t know if you’re a wrestling fan, but that’s like a splash. King Kong Bundy was famous for that.”
See the 55-second mark.
Senators’ Head Coach Guy Boucher did not agree with the call on Pageau.
Pageau spoke about the incident during a second intermission interview with TSN.
“I think everyone’s battling right now,” Pageau said. “It’s a good challenge for us. They didn’t get beaten in like 14 games or something like that. It’s a big challenge for us. Big game at home for our fans. Obviously [Ovechkin] is someone we need to watch. We need to challenge him every where on the ice.”
Pageau was then asked if that meant literally wrestling Ovechkin on the ice.
“Ah, no. I wouldn’t take him,” Pageau said. “He’s big. He’s strong. He’s a player that we need to watch. He’s got a good shot. That’s why he’s their captain – he competes every shift. I think we just try to compete as hard as him.”
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