x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Ovechkin says he did not deserve suspension

The left-winger disappointed with a two-game ban for a hit from behind because he was not trying to hurt the Blackhawks defenceman Campbell.

Alex Ovechkin insists he should not have been suspended for a hit from behind on Brian Campbell because he was not trying to hurt the Chicago Blackhawks defenceman. The NHL slapped a two-game ban on the Washington left-winger, the league's leading scorer and double MVP, for the blind-side hit on Campbell during the Capitals' 4-3 victory in Chicago on Sunday. "NHL hockey is a physical game," Ovechkin said. "We all play hard every time we are on the ice and have battles each shift in every game we play so we can do our jobs and win.

"As players we must accept responsibility for our actions and I am no different but I did not intend to injure Brian and that is why I was disappointed with the NHL's decision." Campbell suffered a fractured clavicle and a broken rib after being shoved into the boards by Ovechkin. The 30-year-old, nine-year NHL veteran is expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks. Ovechkin, who received a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct and was ejected from the game, said he was "sorry that Brian was injured" but that he will remain an aggressive player.

"Every time I have the honour to play for my team, I will continue to do what I have done since I was taught to play," he said. The NHL meanwhile want to adopt a new rule against blind-side hits to the head before the end of this season. "This is so important an issue that if we can possibly avoid just one concussion, we should do it," said Colin Campbell, the senior vice-president of hockey operations. @Email:sports@thenational.ae