Never really a part of the Alex Ovechkin’s game, the Great 8 has dropped the gloves just four times in his lengthy career. Here’s a recap of the Ovechkin fight card to date.
September 26, 2006, Mike Richards (Philadelphia)
Ovechkin fought in America for the first time during his second training camp – against Mike Richards, in a pre-season game against Philadelphia. 10 years after the fight, Ovechkin and Richards became teammates, however Richards stayed in Washington for only half a season.
Ovechkin said after the game, “This was the second fight in my life. We exchanged blows, but nothing bad happened.”
December 2, 2006, Paul Gostad (Buffalo)
Fight number two happened just a couple of months later. At the beginning of the second period of a game against Buffalo, Ovechkin checked Daniel Brier, who crashed into the boards. Sabers’ enforcer Paul Gostad, who just jumped on the ice for a shift, immediately took off for Ovechkin and managed to connect a few early punches before the refs broke it up. Many expected that Ovechkin might receive supplemental discipline for the hit on Briere, but ultimately he was dealt just $1,000 fine.
Ovechkin would say after the game, “I tried to apply the check cleanly. However, Brier turned around at the last moment, and I no longer had time to brake. In general, it was an accident.”
December 12, 2010, Brandon Dubinsky (Rangers)
In the middle of the game, Ovechkin applied a solid hip check to Rangers defender Dan Girardi. Dubinsky didn’t appreciate the hit and decided to challenge Ovechkin. Ovechkin would land a few early blows, with Dubinsky landing the last few shots. Following the skirmish, Ovechkin signaled to his bench, in an attempt to fire his team up.
“I saw what emotions Ovechkin had and how upset he was. He tried to shake the team with his fight, doing what the real leaders do.” Bruce Boudreau, Head Coach, Washington Capitals (2007-2012)
April 15, 2019, Andrey Svechnikov (Hurricanes)
Ovechkin’s only clear victory on North American soil coincidentally came against a fellow countryman. The skirmish between Ovechkin and Svechnikov matured over the course of three games of the first round of the playoffs. Svechnikov suggested the fight in game 3, and soon regretted it. The more experienced Ovi applied several blows to the head and ended up knocking out Andrei with the last one.
Ovechkin was asked about the fight after the game. “First of all, I hope that he is ok. I am not a big fighter, he is the same. He asked me to fight. But I don’t really want the guy to suffer.”
By Jon Sorensen