Alexander Ovechkin: “Jagr made a move to my side and I just hit him” (Photo © Gene J. Puskar, AP)
Team Russia forward Alexander Ovechkin commented on his hit on Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic in a game between Russia and Czech Republic at the Olympic Games 2010 in Vancouver.
“I see him coming and my first reaction was to play the puck,” Ovechkin said to NHL.com . “He made a move to my side and I just hit him.”
Alexander Ovechkin switched the moment in favor of Russia with a bone crushing, open ice hit on Jaromir Jagr in the first few minutes of the final stanza. The puck then ended up on Alexander Semin’s stick, who served Evgeni Malkin with a great cross ice pass. Malkin one-timed the puck in for the game winning goal in Russia’s 4-2 win over Czech Republic.
Ovechkin told Russian site sports.ru, “I hit Jagr automatically. I’m happy that we managed to score a few seconds later. We hugged each other after the game. Jagr bears no grudge at me. This is hockey, this is the Olympics, anything can happen here.”
After the game Jagr told SovSport, “I wish I had a concussion, I would forget Ovechkin sooner. I don’t think the hit was legal.”
Jagr, quoted by Craig Custance of SportingNews.com, acted like a true teamplayer, not looking for excuses after losing the puck to Russia in the neutral zone. “The hit I don’t really care, the mistake, the turnover I made…that hurts. That hurt me the most.”
Kovalchuk, quoted by Craig Custance, added: “That’s a great hit. It’s a clean hit… It was a big moment for us.”
Video of Ovechkin’s hit on Jagr.