Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has been fined $5,000 for spearing.
Ovechkin jabbed his stick at Boston forward Trent Frederic with 5:30 remaining in the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Bruins.
The Caps captain was given a minor penalty for slashing on the play. This was clearly not a slash.
A slash can be a minor or major, depending on the severity of the attack, or a match penalty if there was a deliberate attempt to injure. The consequences for spearing are much steeper than for other stick incidents.
Spearing requires a double-minor if you miss and a major if you make contact.
62.1 Spearing – Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.
62.2 Double-minor Penalty – A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.
62.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent. Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.
62.4 Match Penalty – A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.
Ovechkin deserved a more severe penalty during the game, and he deserved more severe punishment from Player Safety.
Player Safety dropped the ball here, while Ovechkin clearly struck it. Or both of them.
The fine to Ovechkin is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.