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I wish no injury on Czech Republic forward Jaromir Jagr and recognize him as one of the greatest athletes I’ll ever witness competing in person. But it is fitting that Russia’s Alex Ovechkin buried Jagr with an open ice hit that set the tone for Russia’s 4-2 victory in Vancouver today.

The Hockey News summed it up (Ovechkin’s huge hit on Jagr highlights Russia’s 4-2 win over Czechs)  by saying:

Milan Michalek made it a one-goal game for the Czech Republic with five minutes left in the third, but the Czechs would never recover after the game-changing hit by Ovechkin on Jagr.

Alex Ovechkin (Getty Images)

As it relates to the Washington Capitals, Jagr was supposed to be the savior of hockey in Washington. He was talented and put up some points, but never seemed to bring energy or excitement into the arena consistently. He did his job, sometimes, but never bred a love of the sport to the D.C. fan base.

Enter the ball of fire on ice known as Ovechkin. He scores, he hits, he passes, he creates a buzz on the ice and in the stands wherever he goes. Fans love him or hate him, but they all seem to have an opinion (ask that joke of a professional, Mike Milbury).

That hit may have officially been in an International event, between Russia and the Czech Republic, but I’m guessing many Capitals fans look at it and say, “thanks Ovi. He deserved that.”

Ovechkin’s hit on Jagr: WATCH VIDEO OF HIT HERE

Other good stories and tidbits from the last couple days:

D.C. Sports Bog (Dan Steinberg): Crosby scores game-winner, Ovechkin doesn’t

THW (The Hockey Writers): Has NBC gone too far in the Crosby/Ovechkin rivalry?

Alex Ovetjkin’s Fan Blog: Zdeno Chara on Ovechkin

Heavy Medal (Washington Post Olympic Blog): Alex Ovechkin switches skates, Russia retools power play (Thanks for posting Mr. Leonsis)