The Question We All Need Answered: Did Alexander Ovechkin Intentionally Rocket The Puck At Ron Hainsey's Skull?
Obviously it's beyond irresponsible to imply that a star player was so overcome by his frustrations that he may have intentionally shot a puck at someone's fucking head as hard as he could. Especially considering that "one got the sense from a couple of Penguins" is the most vague, unsubstantiated substantiation of a hot take that these eyes have ever seen. Josh Yohe - as regurgitated by David Todd - basically read the minds of professional hockey players that are notoriously careful with their words to conclude that the greatest goal scorer of a generation had a momentary lapse in which he prioritized fulfilling his role as a "Russian sniper" more literally. I don't think I need to tell you how stupid it is to assume that Alexander Ovechkin had anything other than goals on his mind when his shot incidentally knuckled off his stick and clearly traveled higher than he intended.
That said, you can kind of understand the confusion, right? I don't think Ovi would pass up an open shooting lane from his sweet spot in order to chin-check a franchise that clearly has the Capitals number in the playoffs. However, if there was going to be member of the opposition that he would want taken out so badly that he'd feel inclined to blatantly breach all social norms then it's definitely Ron Hainsey. Tough to say from a historical perspective because we have no precedent for this sort of thing, but if you wanted to channel your postseason shortcomings to send a message to the team most responsible for them then who better to put in the crosshairs than their short-tenured 3rd pairing defenseman? After all, nothing changes the dynamic of series quite like taking out a guy who wasn't even guaranteed to dress for it when he was acquired at the deadline. It's all about momentum, and putting a player as important as a minutes-eating defensive defenseman on notice is how you tilt that ice.
Now, I couldn't be more sure that the puck rolled on Ovechkin and the resulting injury was the perfect example of shit happening, but I'll be damned if that's not the only lineup change that Washington needs to silence their decade-long demons in digging themselves out of an 0-2 hole on the road. It's probably a coincidence that the errant shot took out the lynchpin to the Penguins game plan, but I suppose I could see how one biased, presumptuous beat writer and an accusatory radio personality would see it differently.