Sunday's questionable hit by Alex Ovechkin that left Chicago's Brian Campbell in a crumpled heap has sparked a lot of debate in hockey circles. First, it was "Was the check that injured Campbell a dirty one?" I didn't think it was a check from behind and was just a case of Campbell being off balance when shoved into the boards. The next question was "Is that play worthy of a suspension?" Again, I didn't think it was, but the NHL decided to sit Ovechkin down for two games. The question now is "Is Alexander Ovechkin a dirty hockey player". Again, I will say the answer is no.
When I watch Ovechkin, I think of another big rugged forward who had all the skill in the world and could kill you with one hit. That forward was Mark Messier. I could also compare him to Cam Neely, but I think you agree that both Messier and Ovechkin did and don't have to work for their goals the way Neely had to for his.
Ovechkin doesn't cruise around the ice waiting for an opportunity. He looks to create that opportunity with a big hit. One just has to look at what he did to Jaromir Jagr at the Olympics to prove that. Messier was the same type of player. Both don't care how big you are, all they care about is doing what they have to do and if that means running you over, it will be done. If that's your definition of being a dirty player, so be it. It's not mine.
The top player in another sport was also making headlines Tuesday. To the surprise of very few, Tiger Woods says he will resume golfing at the Masters. While Tiger knows that course like the back of his hand, I still think he needs to play in a warm-up event before taking on Augusta National. Then again, Augusta National might be the perfect place to start his comeback. Those that run the Masters are very particular about who gets in and who does what. You're not allowed to use a cellphone or have a camera. Its expected the heckling will be very minute. That wouldn't happen at other courses. There is no doubt Tiger is going to have face his share of people who will take potshots at him for his personal indiscretions. It will be up to Tiger to block that out, but it may be overwhelming. It won't be that way at the Masters. He'll be able to concentrate on the game that has made him great. His return also guarantees that the 2010 Masters will be one of the most viewed sporting events in recent history. If he were to win the green jacket, one can be sure that he would zip the lip of many who are ready to pounce on him. I just hope for Tiger's sake that he doesn't try to hit on Martha Burke or that there isn't a Perkins in Augusta! Oh yeah, don't pair him with Jesper Parnevik either!
Have you caught any sledge hockey from the Paralympics? WOW! These guys play hard. Talk about being reckless. You gotta have a lot of admiration for these guys as they play a sport that I'm sure each and every one would love to play in a normal fashion. The upper body strength that these athletes have is extraordinary. If you haven't seen it, try to before the games end. It is something to watch.
John Tavares had a 5 point night for the Islanders as they beat the Canucks. He now has 20 goals and 41 points on the season. Will he be considered for rookie of the year honors, or does Matt Duchene of the Avalanche already have that award locked up.
Major League Baseball is asking fans where they first met the game. Its a good way for baseball fans to discuss that first ever experience with baseball. If you know me, you know I'm a Cubs fan, but I remember watching World Series games as a little guy. My first baseball game was a twi-night doubleheader in 1977 at Seattle's Kingdome. It was a game between the Jays and the Mariners. That's where baseball hooked me. Maybe it was a few months earlier when the Blue Jays started their season on that snowy April afternoon against the White Sox. I know a lot of my friends got unhooked on baseball the day the 1994 season ended when the Expos were on top and some others were done when the Expos left Montreal. I only wonder if Montreal would have survived had a new ballpark been built. It would have been downtown, but I'm not sure where. I had a gentleman tell me when I was in Montreal for the Grey Cup that had that facility been constructed, the Expos would be alive and well. I don't know about that.
Thats it for me. I leave you with this.....
If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.