Pageau Responds To Ovechkin Hit, Rips Capitals Captain: ‘He Knew What He Was Doing’
New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau responded to the Alex Ovechkin hit and said that he was hit in the head, and he also had some strong words for the captain, too.
Back on Monday, the Washington Capitals were looking for a spark against the New York Islanders while trailing 3-0 in the second period, and Alex Ovechkin was the one to step up. He started off by setting the tone with a big hit on Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the corner, who went down in visible discomfort and left the ice for a bit before coming back. Two days later, Pageau opened up about the hit in his first availability since — and he had some strong words about the Capitals captain.
Pageau caught up with NYIHN's Stefen Rosner and the Islanders media on Wednesday and said that he saw Ovechkin coming but believed it wasn't a clean hit and said it ended up catching him in the head.
"I was trying to make my play and clear the puck and he finished his hit, obviously," an angry Pageau said. "I'll tell you he took a couple of strides to come in and he's been around for a while, so he knew what he was doing. It is what it is."
The hit was reviewed for a major penalty but deemed a clean hockey hit, and there was no call on the play. Pageau said he felt completely normal before returning, which is why he was able to finish the game and said that the hit is just part of the business.
"Obviously when you look at the replay, I don't think I like it. It's part of this game, he's scoring goals, he's finishing his hits and it's just another hit for him and he's been known to hit guys hard and he hit me hard and it's part of the game," he said.
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Pageau also said that Ovechkin came to check in on him toward the end of the game and asked if he was okay. The 5-11 forward didn't appreciate the check-in.
"Yeah, he asked me if I was alright and obviously if I'm back on the ice it's because I'm alright."
Ovechkin's hit ended up being the "difference-maker" and turning point that Washington needed en route to a comeback and ultimate 4-3 overtime victory.
"He can lead in so many different ways, that’s the sign of a good captain. Playing physical all the time, he’s a machine, he can score goals," Tom Wilson said of Ovechkin. "I think he’s at 650 assists too. it’s fun when he’s going it definitely gets the group to buy in and got the energy going on our bench.”
The 6-3, 238-pound winger has 810 career goals and also passed the 3,000-hit mark this season. His 125 hits this year have him at