You can't argue that Alexander Ovechkin's one of the most exciting players in the NHL — but there are many people who also think he's one of the dirtiest.
With talk still surrounding Ovie's latest incident — a slew-foot on Atlanta's Rich Peverley that drew a reported $2,500 US fine from the league — CBC's Don Cherry had a warning for the Russian superstar:
"You're running out of lives," he said on his Coach's Corner segment during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. "Too many times have you hit guys from behind, so guys right now have you on a list.
"I love you as a guy, and as a player. You play my type of game," Cherry added. "… [But] you're going to be very, very sorry one day because someone is going to cut you in half."
By contrast, Anaheim's Evgeni Artyukhin was suspended three games by the NHL on Thursday for a similar incident. On Wednesday, Artyukhin slew-footed the Stars' Matt Niskanen, who is listed as day-to-day with a head injury.
On the league's website, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell defended the discrepancies in how both slew-foots were treated on Friday.
"It is unfair to draw any parallels [about the two slew-foot incidents] other than the players that tripped both fell down," he said.
"Artyukhin was suspended [for two games] last season for a kneeing incident in which a player was injured. He was also fined during this pre-season for slew-footing a player who didn't have the puck.
"Fast forward three weeks, he, in our opinion, did slew-foot Matt Niskanen, causing Niskanen's skates to fly up well above the boards and half up the glass. It resulted in an injury for Niskanen and he has missed one game so far."
On Saturday, Cherry also marvelled at the reinvigorated play of Edmonton's Dustin Penner, who has seven goals and seven assists in nine games this season.
"He was lousy for two years but boy is he picking it up," Cherry said. "He's plus-9 if you can believe it … He's dynamite, one of the top guys in the league. I think he's playing better than he did in Anaheim."
After his time with the Ducks, Penner was signed by Edmonton as a free agent in 2007-08, and has been criticized in the past for not producing to the level the Oilers have expected from him.