Kevan Miller

Claude Julien wonders whether Alex Ovechkin got star treatment after hit on Kevan Miller

Ken Laird
March 05, 2016 - 5:47 pm

Bruins fans might not have Kevan Miller to blame for awhile. Alexander Ovechkin's boarding penalty at 5:36 of the second period on Saturday night sent Miller to the ice in obvious pain and down the runway shortly thereafter clutching his right shoulder. Boston coach Claude Julien acknowledged that Miller left TD Garden for medical treatment while the game was still going on. Because the play was not called a check from behind and instead boarding, Ovechkin wouldn't have been ejected unless Miller suffered a head or face injury. Julien wondered if Ovechkin's star status factored into the call, asking, "If it's somebody else, is it a game?" Ovechkin denied any malicious intent on the hit. "It's just a hockey play," said Ovechkin. "I tried to pin him, like … I don't try to hit him. I didn't see the replay but my emotion was not, like, try to hit. I tried to just play the puck. He's kind of turned and that's what I [told] the referee, 'I don't try to go through him or something, I just tried to pin him.'" Ovechkin continued: "Obviously you don't want to be in this position to take a penalty but even the referee said, like, I get five minutes because I was heavier than him. It's kind of strange, but it is what it is. No, I don't think it's suspension or something. I don't try to make a hit, just tried to be in my spot and make a play. He's turned at the boards." Boston centerman Patrice Bergeron disagreed with Ovechkin's assesment. "To me, I thought Kevan, his back was turned the whole way," said Bergeron. "I thought Ovechkin was basically seeing the back of Kevan." "Obviously the league is going to review it," said Julien. "I don't like seeing those hits. It's five for boarding, it kind of shows the severity of it. And I'm disappointed that our player wasn't able to come back. Who knows, if it's somebody else, is it a game [misconduct]? You guys can answer that question yourselves."