If you don't know the back story, here's what happened when the Sabres came to Verizon Center on December 2:
Yeah, the hit looks bad on first watch, but A) it wasn't that late, B) Ovechkin didn't hit Briere that hard, C) it was made worse because Briere turned (I think to go to the bench) as soon as he got rid of the puck, D) it looked worse because Briere hit his head on the door and his helmet came off, E) despite laying on the ice for several minutes in such unbelievable excruciating pain, Briere DID NOT MISS A SHIFT.
All that being said ... if someone did the same thing to Ovechkin I'd probably be asking for the death penalty.
Ovechkin got a game misconduct for the hit and was fined $1,000.
To the credit of Buffalo fans, over at the popular Hockey's Future Boards, for every Buffalo fan who wants Ovechkin to be carried off on a stretcher there are two who say to get over it and that you can't fault an intense player for what was essentially a hustle play gone wrong.
As for Ovechkin, he's ready to go if someone wants to take a run at him.
"If it will be rough, I love play rough," he said. "I'm ready to fight if somebody want to fight me. I'm not afraid. I love make hits if somebody hit me. It's hockey. It's my game."The game is tonight at 7 on Comcast Sportsnet.
--The Washington Post
Here is some pre-game reading:
Ovechkin Awaits Sabres' Reception by Tarik El-Bashir, The Washington Post
JP of Japer's Rink says that "these events are always over-blown by the media and the fans. Players and coaches move on - they have games to win. This is the NHL, not 'Youngblood.'"
The Washington Times didn't even mention the hit.