Washington Capitals prima donna Alex Ovechkin says he's "disappointed" the NHL suspended him two games for a hit that left Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell with a fractured clavicle and a fractured rib.
Well, guess what? I'm disappointed, too. I'm disappointed that one of the Hawks' top four defensemen is going to be out 7-8 weeks because of the reckless check from behind that Ovechkin delivered during Sunday's 4-3 overtime win for Washington.
But we all have to deal with a little disappointment in life. Cry me a river, Alex. Most people in the NHL don't like you anyway. You'll be back on the ice next week. Campbell will be fortunate if he plays again this season.
Moving on from that, do the Blackhawks have enough to get by without Campbell? My answer is, "Yes." The Hawks cannot afford any more injuries on the blue line as a result of this, but as long as everyone else stays healthy, they are still a legit Cup contender.
On most NHL teams, Campbell would be a No. 1 or No. 2 defenseman. Here in Chicago, he's a No. 4. The Hawks still have their top pairing intact with Norris Trophy candidate Duncan Keith and his defense partner, Brent Seabrook, logging almost half the minutes.
They still have defensive specialist Niklas Hjalmarsson to anchor the second defense pairing. This is where the midseason acquistion of Kim Johnsson should come in handy. Johnsson is a veteran who has played matchup minutes in the past. He and Hjalmarsson should be fine logging anywhere from 18-20 minutes per night.
The Hawks have recalled former Anaheim Ducks All-Star Nick Boynton from Rockford. Between Boynton, Jordan Hendry and Brent Sopel, the Hawks should be able to cobble together a decent No. 3 defense pairing.
Right now, Johnsson is out with the infamous upper-body injury. However he's not expected to miss too much time. The Hawks have a surplus of quality forwards. If need be, they can shift winger Dustin Byfuglien back to the blue line. Byfuglien was drafted as a defenseman and went through drills on defense during Tuesday's practice.
It's really unfortunate that Campbell is out. The Hawks aren't as good a team without him. But as angry as I am at Ovechkin for delivering a cheap and reckless hit, there's no use crying too much about it. The Hawks have to move on and they will. They have some options as far as plugging this hole.
We'll leave the rest of the crying to Ovechkin and his coach, Bruce Boudreau, who seem to believe they've been somehow wronged. Here's to hoping the Hawks see Washington again in the Stanley Cup Finals. Then maybe the Hawks can give the Capitals a bigger reason to whine.