WATCH: Ovi levels Montreal's Jonathan Drouin with 'textbook hit'

Chris Lingebach
November 18, 2019 - 6:58 pm
Ovechkin levels Jonathan Drouin with 'textbook hit'

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Ovechkin absolutely leveled Montreal winger Jonathan Drouin Friday night, around five minutes into the second period.

Drouin was coming across the middle of the ice where his body, unfortunate for him, was met by Ovi rocketing toward him to knock the puck loose. Drouin crashed to the ice like a milk carton bowled over by a Mack Truck, as the entirety of Ovi's 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame – carried by his momentum – toppled over onto him.

No penalty was called because, somehow, that's just a good, clean hit.

Drouin has since undergone wrist surgery and is out indefinitely, although it's unclear if the injury was related to Ovi's hit or not, as Drouin briefly left Friday's game before returning in time for the third period. He did not play in Montreal's game against New Jersey the following night.

"It's hockey," Ovechkin said of the hit after the game. "It's not a ballet."

Lars Eller was asked about the jaw-dropping hit during his weekly Sports Junkies appearance Monday morning, driven by AAA.

"Obviously I guess it was a clean hit," said Junkies host Eric Bickel. "Why don't we see more hits like that, though? Like did he do something wrong? Did he drop his head? Like that was a vicious hit and there was no penalty on it. Which, I guess everyone agrees, it wasn't illegal. Why don't we see more of that, then?"

"Well, I think there's a number of reasons, but I think guys may be a little bit starting to think a little bit more about the way they hit because they're being so hard with the suspensions," Eller said. "I mean here, I think in this situation – I've seen it after – and I think Drouin, he sees Ovi last second and kind of starts to turn his body as he sees Ovi coming, kind of leaves the puck."

"So he prepares himself for impact as much as he can with the split second you see him coming," he said. "I don't know, if Ovi catches his head, what the ruling might be then, but I think it was a great hit. I think it was a really good hit by Ovi. It was a textbook hit.

"Guy comes across the middle and Ovi certainly didn't target his head, but when a bigger guy like O tends to hit a smaller guy, it can be hard. If the guy is leaning forward and not seeing the guy coming, eventually he's gonna hit his head somehow. So there's responsibilities on both sides, but I think that was a very good hit by O."

Hockey is bru-tal.

Eller's appearance begins at the 30-minute mark below.