Originally posted on The Last Angry Fan  |  Last updated 12/8/11

About halfway through the second period of Washington’s 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin took a clean hit from Sens agitator Chris Neil in his own end as he attempted a clearing pass.  As the two skated up ice, Ovie spears Neil in the midsection in a rather inconspicuous manner.  The Ottawa winger drops to the ice not only as an obvious reaction to taking the end of a stick to the gut, but, knowing the sly Neil, to try and draw a penalty.

Well his plan worked, kind of, as the refs did dole out a two-minute infraction…to Neil himself, for diving. (or as the NHL calls it, “unsportsmanlike conduct”).

I’ve played hockey before, and i know that the area below the shoulder pads and above the hockey pants where Ovechkin sticks Neil is one of the few spots on a player’s body that isn’t protected.  Getting speared or butt-ended there isn’t pleasant, especially for someone with flabby, non-existent abdominal muscles like myself.  But even for someone with taut abs like a Chris Neil, it’s still painful when someone with Ovie’s upper body strength gives you a shot to the belly with his stick.

So, did the refs make the right call by thinking that Neil was diving just to draw a penalty, or did Ovechkin get away with a blatant spear to Neil’s midsection and the refs blew it?

Watch the video and decide for yourself…

It’s too hard for me to say either way, so I’ll leave it up to you guys. Majority rules and all that.

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