But he was available Wednesday morning, following the New York Islanders morning skate.
The most important thing was that Pageau was indeed okay, despite the scariness of the hit, which you can see below:
The Ovechkin hit on Pageau along with how Pageau looked afterwards: pic.twitter.com/OrkpCfmnJx
— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) January 17, 2023
“I’m fine. Obviously, I was banged up after the hit, then got back and got some tests and felt very good after,” Pageau said. “I felt normal, so that’s why I came back, and then two days after, yesterday, I felt fine. Today I felt great on the ice, so I’m okay.”
As for if he saw Ovechkin coming, he was well aware.
“I knew he was coming. Obviously, I was trying to make a play and clear the puck, and he finished his hit, obviously,” Pageau said. “Obviously, he took a couple of strides to come in, and he’s been around for a while, so he knew what he was doing.”
“It is what it is.”
Pageau understands that, legal or not, hitting is part of the game.
“When you look at the replay, I don’t think I like it,” Pageau said. “It’s part of this game. He’s scoring goals, he’s finishing his hits, and it’s just another hit for him, and he’s been known to hit guys hard, and he hit me hard, and it’s part of the game,” Pageau said.
There was an interaction between Ovechkin and Pageau once he returned to the game. But it wasn’t as friendly as it may have come off on video.
Ovechkin and Pageau exchanged words after he returned following Ovechkin’s big hit in the second.
Don’t believe there was any negative intent here or on the hit. pic.twitter.com/Y4DiK56UB0
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) January 17, 2023
“He asked me if I was alright, and obviously, if I’m back on the ice, it’s because I’m alright,” Pageau said.
As the cameras went away, NYI Hockey Now continued its conversation with Pageau, who shared that the point of contact was indeed the head.
The New York Islanders are still missing Adam Pelech and Kyle Palmieri, who are both on Injured Reserve with upper-body injuries, likely head injuries.
The Islanders could ill-afford to have their best face-off man and Swiss army knife out of the lineup as they try to stay near a playoff spot.