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Harry Zolnierczyk Hits Someone in Hockey, People Freak Out

Feb 28, 2013, 1:05 PM EDT

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The Flyers took it to the Washington Capitals in just about
every possible way on Wednesday night, and they weren’t about to let up just
because their opponent did. With less than 30 seconds to go, Harry Zolnierczyk
picked up a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct for a big collision
with Mathieu Perreault near center ice.

Needless to say, certain Caps took exception to the hit. Not
surprisingly, Alex Ovechkin was one of them.

We say not surprisingly because Ovechkin’s whole issue with
the hit
seemed to center around he and his teammates were waving the white flag
at this stage of the game. By that token, maybe the Flyers were supposed to stop
hitting around the five-minute mark in the first period.

“It was like, 30 seconds left, 4-1
lead,” Ovechkin said. “Why you have to kill the guy? It was dirty.”

Caps defenseman Karl Alzner also thought it an unnecessary shot.

“There’s only a minute left,” Alzner said. “What’s the point of doing
that? Some players like that don’t really think about it that way. They
just think about what they’re supposed to be doing on the ice. An older
guy probably wouldn’t have done something like that.” 

For what it’s worth, Washington’s own head coach Adam Oates
disagreed, admitting he thought the hit was perfectly fine.

“I don’t think it’s dirty at all. I
think it’s a product of our whole game. There is 30 seconds left, the games
over, and Matty thought he could stick handle through the team. It’s not what
we do, all of us tonight, and guys are sitting there waiting for you, and you
get hit.”

I thought the hit was pretty clean myself, nor even much of a kneeing at all. Harry Z is a
young player trying to carve out a role on the team. Guys like that aren’t
going to relent just because the players across from them do, nor quit when
there’s 30 seconds left. That doesn’t make the hit dirty, it’s called playing
until the whistle.

Zolnierczyk will avoid any further discipline for the
play, even though the NBC Sports broadcast team thought it like the hit that
landed Taylor Hall for Edmonton a two-game ban. Judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, Danny Briere accused Ovechkin of attempting to throw an elbow at his head during the third period, so stones, glass house, all that.