Ovechkin’s Hit on Pageau: A Look at the Controversial Incident

The Incident

On January 18th, 2020, the Washington Capitals faced off against the Ottawa Senators in a regular-season NHL game. In the second period, Capitals’ superstar Alex Ovechkin delivered a high hit on Senators’ forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau, which resulted in a game misconduct penalty for Ovechkin.

Ovechkin’s Hit on Pageau: A Look at the Controversial IncidentSource: bing.com

The Controversy

The hit immediately sparked controversy among fans, analysts, and players alike. Some argued that Ovechkin’s hit was within the rules and simply a hard, physical play. Others, however, believed that the hit was dangerous and dirty, and that Ovechkin deserved a suspension.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety ultimately decided not to suspend Ovechkin, citing the lack of any previous disciplinary history and the fact that Pageau was not injured on the play.

Ovechkin’s Response

After the game, Ovechkin defended his actions, stating that he was simply trying to make a play and that he did not intend to injure Pageau. He also expressed his disappointment with the game misconduct penalty, calling it “ridiculous.”

This was not the first time Ovechkin has been involved in a controversial hit. In 2018, he received a three-game suspension for a hit on Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Zach Aston-Reese.

The NHL’s Stance on Head Hits

The NHL has made it clear in recent years that hits to the head are a serious concern and will not be tolerated. In 2011, the league implemented Rule 48, which prohibits hits to the head and imposes harsh penalties for violators.

Despite this, head hits continue to be a hot topic in the league, with many arguing that the rules are not enforced consistently and that players are still at risk of serious injury.

The Impact on the Game

The incident between Ovechkin and Pageau had a significant impact on the game, as it resulted in Ovechkin being ejected and the Capitals having to play with a shortened bench for the remainder of the game.

The Senators ultimately won the game 5-3, with Pageau scoring a hat trick in the third period.

The Aftermath

The incident between Ovechkin and Pageau sparked a heated debate among fans and analysts, with many expressing their opinions on social media and in various online forums.

Some called for Ovechkin to receive a suspension, while others defended his actions and criticized the NHL’s disciplinary policies.

The Importance of Player Safety

The ongoing debate over hits to the head highlights the importance of player safety in professional sports. While physical play is an important part of hockey and other contact sports, it is crucial that players are protected from unnecessary and dangerous hits.

The NHL and other sports leagues must continue to prioritize player safety and enforce rules that hold players accountable for dangerous plays.


The incident between Ovechkin and Pageau was a controversial moment in the NHL season, sparking a heated debate over hits to the head and player safety. While opinions on the incident may vary, it is clear that the safety of players must always be a top priority in professional sports.

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