Alex Ovechkin is just as renowned for his hits as he is for his goal-scoring prowess, and Jan Hejda of the Colorado Avalanche was on the receiving end of a monster check tonight from the Washington Capitals forward. With the Avs leading 1-0 early on, Hejda gathered the puck in the defensive zone and was looking for an outlet pass.
Ovechkin got on his horse, presumably mumbled “target acquired” to himself, and absolutely trucked Hejda.
Talk about taking a hit to make the play.
There’s nothing dirty about what Ovechkin does here. Players around the NHL have been hitting guys like this all season long, except directly into the back.
No. 8 more or less locks eyes with Colorado’s defenseman, and nails him just after he’s able to reverse the puck around the boards and out of trouble. Hejda bounced right back up on the play, and Ovechkin didn’t lead with his elbow or leave his feet.
Ovie haters may cry fowl here and say that the league is playing favorites, but there wasn’t even any contact to Hejda’s head. This is a pristine example of the kind of check that the NHL wants to keep in the game while getting rid of the garbage head shots that the likes of John Scott line up at nearly every opportunity.
This is a heavy hit made by a tough player in Ovechkin, and he should be applauded for his physical efforts while trying to give his trailing team a boost.