Alex Ovechkin continues to be an intimidating force whenever he’s on the ice.
The Washington Capitals’ captain lit up Montreal Canadiens’ forward Jonathan Drouin with a massive open-ice hit in Friday’s game at the Bell Centre.
Drouin was cutting to the middle of the ice with his head down and was caught in his tracks by Ovechkin coming the other way. The Washington superstar blew Drouin up with a massive shoulder-to-shoulder hit.
The 6′ 0″, 197 lbs Drouin is quite smaller than the 6’3″ and 236 lbs Ovechkin. Drouin was stunned by the hit and laid on the ice for a few seconds before getting up on his own.
Montreal was not about happy about the hit, as they felt Ovechkin left his feet to deliver it. Montreal head coach Claude Julien could be seen arguing with the refs on the bench after the play.
Drouin left the game but returned for the third period. Claude Julien told reporters after the game that he considering leaving Drouin in the locker room, but Drouin wanted to play the third period.
After the game, Ovechkin was asked about the hit and how he felt about the Canadiens calling for a penalty.
“It’s hockey…it’s not a ballet. It’s a hockey play. He didn’t see me. It’s a clear hit. Nothing to say.”
Ovechkin on the hit: "It's hockey… it's not a ballet." pic.twitter.com/nRUaNcsNDb
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 16, 2019
Julien confirmed Drouin went through concussion protocol after the hit. Julien also talked to the media about what he thought of the hit.
“I think when people look at it, he didn’t get hit in the head,” Julien said. It was just one of those hits where I thought it looked like Ovie might have left his feet there a little bit before the hit.”
While some felt that Ovechkin left his feet to deliver the hit, the NHL Department of Player Safety appeared to be okay with the body-check.
Update: DOPS will not be issuing any discipline for Ovechkin’s hit on Drouin. https://t.co/MtVMEhCpqd
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 16, 2019
Ovechkin is the greatest goal-scorer of his generation, but he also doesn’t shy away from the physical game. Ovechkin has already recoded 49 hits in 21 games this season, which is 24th most among all NHL players.
Drouin was placed on IR following the game, but it reportedly wasn’t due to the Ovechkin hit. Julien said that Drouin’s injury was sustained after he returned to the game in the third period and it was not related to the Ovechkin hit. Drouin will reportedly be out for at least one week.
Drouin has been an efficient producer for the Canadiens this season, managing seven goals and 15 points in 19 games.