Sunday, April 13, 2008

 

Sean Avery screens Martin Brodeur






Penalty? Acceptable? I'm still undecided, but leaning more towards thinking it should be a penalty. It's the glove and stick waving that bothers me. Turning your back to the puck is stupid, but I don't think it should be illegal. The Devils were down two men at that point, which explains why someone didn't just push Avery out of the way (or worse). If you are Martin Brodeur or a Devils fan, the worst part is that Avery scored moments afterwards. The TSN panel discuss here. They also discussed it on Hockey Night in Canada--with Ron MacLean saying it had no place in hockey. Thoughts?

Comments:

If your own player tells you to fuck off while the game is in play, as Drury did, then you're a fucking tool.

Does Jersey have anyone on the roster who can goon that punk?

Unsportsmanlike conduct with a 10 minute misconduct.
 


I really do wonder what Drury said to him.
 


It has no place in hockey. Avery has no place in the human race.
 


That's ridiculous garbage. Shameful.
 


Any arguments why, guys?
 


That's odd, bruce. I always considered his ilk members of Homo habilis, the dumb cousin of Homo sapiens. Other notable members include the likes of Donald Brashear, Matt Cooke, and our own Raffi Torres. Overdeveloped musculature in arms and tongue area, underdeveloped important thinking muscle.
 


Ron MacLean thought Gordie Howe was a good player who celebrated a little too much..

Seriously, when did Ron effin' MacLean become the arbiter of what is or isn't good for hockey?
 


Andy:

I like Ron Maclean's argument best. And his back is to the play, making it also dangerous for his teammates looking to shoot the puck.

I further strengthen my mindset as to why I hate it because of the way most of his team thought of his actions. One of the team's leaders in Drury spoke to him while play was going on, and it seemed like only two people on the bench were congratulating him on his goal afterwards.

Bettman said after the Flames game that they will be looking into the situation, and will probably address any similar situations during the playoffs, but not without mentioning it to every team beforehand. Which I like. It's taking an active step to clean up tonight's actions.
 


One of the team's leaders in Drury spoke to him while play was going on, and it seemed like only two people on the bench were congratulating him on his goal afterwards.

But you have no idea what was said, do you? I haven't seen anything anywhere about what Drury actually said.
 


Andy:

Yeah. That's true. I'm merely speculating at this point, but I will go out on a limb and assume Drury, a good clean hockey player, wouldn't want that shit on his rink.
 


But you have no idea what was said, do you? I haven't seen anything anywhere about what Drury actually said.

NHL Network just showed a close-up, lip readable clip of Drury saying "stick down" to Avery. He definitely wasn't chastising him.
 


OK, so a guy who screens the opposing goalie with his ass is a warrior, but a guy who distracts him by maniacally waiving his arms and stick is a tool?
When did we lose sight of the fact that you win by scoring more often than the opposition?
By the time the playoffs are over, the only thing left to decide for Avery is whether the first number on his next contract is a 5 or a 6, followed by 6 zeros. And anybody who says they wouldn't have him on their favorite team is either a liar, self-deluded, or determined to cheer for a losing team.
 


I'm not an Avery fan I think in general he's a tool. That being said I don't have a problem with the face to face screen.

My problem lies with the waving the stick in Brodeur's face. Aside from looking like a classless fool, it was a borderline misconduct as MacLean said and potentially exposed the D and Brodeur to taking a high stick.

IMO if Avery feels he can better obscure the goalies vision facing him then that's his choice. It's clear it's probably easier to obscure the goalies vision but I think in the end it's probably not as effective as the traditional screen because of his inability to effectively tip the puck.

So if he feels comfortable enough to expose his back to the play then that's his choice.
 


And anybody who says they wouldn't have him on their favorite team is either a liar, self-deluded, or determined to cheer for a losing team.

Or a communist. You forgot that one.
 


I have to go with game misconduct on this one. The rule Maclean showed makes it pretty clear what the standard is. I can understand facing the goalie, with the idea being to better block his vision. But the combination of facing the goalie AND having his stick up in the air makes it clear that Avery had no intention of being involved in the play. His intent was only to aggravate Brodeur.

I also have to take into account the fact that Avery is a goon. Were a skill player, say Chris Pronger, to do the same thing, I'd have to call the interference on Brodeur.
 


What rule did MacLean use? I only saw this one on TSN, and the only things MacKenzie could suggest were two for USC or a ten-minute misconduct for "inciting." My thinking, and I hate to say this, is like Anonymouse's here:

OK, so a guy who screens the opposing goalie with his ass is a warrior, but a guy who distracts him by maniacally waiving his arms and stick is a tool?
When did we lose sight of the fact that you win by scoring more often than the opposition?


It's like the hockey version of that classic children's game, I'm Not Touching You, Not Touching You, Not Touching You, MOOOO-OOOOM! I'm not saying that's a good thing in and of itself, but it strikes me that Marty needs to put on his big-girl panties and deal with it. His whiny-bitch tendencies already killed a perfectly cool concept in the mirrored visor, and this seems like another effort to get rid of something he doesn't like and cover for the fact that he's been kinda shitty this playoff. I mean, sure, Avery is, by nature, a toolbag, but I don't have any problem with him trying to distract Brodeur by any means possible. Isn't that his job?
 


1) We're NOT Avery fans, but as long as his stick doesn't come in contact with anyone AND he's outside the crease it should NOT be disallowed.
2) Allow defensemen to "clear the crease" as they did before the 'new NHL" and you'll see a bit less of that without any silly new rules.
 


I think on its face you can't really call it anything more than jackassery. There's no obvious reason to tell Avery to piss off, but if someone from the front office gave him a call and told him to knock it off, I they'd be well advised.

The minor things that make it into an actionable item for me are basically:

1. He has his stick off the ice and is barely involved in the actual hockey. Let's just make all hockey 4 on 4, but stick the pillar from section 317 Row 28 in front of the goalies. Same difference.

2. It is a bit dangerous, given that you're turned around.

3. It just looks idiotic. And if Unsportsmanlike Conducts can be handed out for Hemsky bitching about the ice, I don't see much issue giving one for this.
 


I also have to take into account the fact that Avery is a goon. Were a skill player, say Chris Pronger, to do the same thing, I'd have to call the interference on Brodeur.

Bravo. Nicely done.
 


I don't know if anyone here remebers Wayne Cowley (former Oilers farm goalie), but he used to do basically the same thing to the forechecker if his own d-man had the puck behind the net. He'd wave his glove hand in the forwards face to try and distract him from seeing which side of the net the puck was going to come out from. The home crowd loved it - opposing bench and players hated it. The only problem, like the Avery thing, was that Cowley was not looking at the puck either. If Avery takes a slapshot in the spine, I doubt he'll do it anymore:o)
 


I'm with Doogie. Probably a groupthink thing but still. What's the big deal?
 


Probably a groupthink thing but still.

Yeah, I had that coming. At least now I know I'm not totally crazy.
 


It's the stick waving that elevates it from general shenanigans to shameful jackassery.
 


Is there any way to call high-sticking if the stick does not in fact touch a player? The stick is a danger to other players being up there.
 


That fucker pulls shit like that around my crease, he's getting the pointy end of the big paddle right in the junk. As often as it takes.
 


Give the guy credit for creativity. In current rules, there was no penalty that this action fits under. For Ranger fans, it was incredibly funny. For those who despise Avery, just another reason to hate him. If not for the fluke goal in OT (even John Madden admitted that was an incredibly lucky and much needed break for them), this could have spelled the end for the Devils. Avery is making his mark on the NHL. And with 3 goals in the 3 playoff games, I am pretty sure even Glen Sather wouldn't call him a detriment to the team right now. He's making people want to watch that franchise to see what he will do next. I guarantee it will involve something within the rules (albeit obnoxious) AND will also involve more points on the board for the blueshirts.
 


I also have to take into account the fact that Avery is a goon. Were a skill player, say Chris Pronger, to do the same thing, I'd have to call the interference on Brodeur.

Goon? Lets look at some stats here Pronger in 72 games had 12 goals 31 assist and 128 PIM. Avery in 57 games had 15 goals 18 assist and 154 PIM. So in 15 less games he his stats are relatively comparable to Pronger’s. So by your own definition, Pronger is a goon, or Avery is a skilled player. Its funny how nobody mentions the three real penalties that happened on that play… a cross-check, a stick swat between the legs and a punch to the face, all happened to Avery.
 


I don't think it's a big deal.

Actually, it's kind of funny.
 


NHL officiating body has altered the "unsportsmanlike conduct" penalty to include Avery's actions yesterday.

As per TSN.
 


What part of his actions?

The waving the stick in the face, the hand, or facing the goaltender?

The only action I really feel is borderline unsportsmanlike is the stick waving near the mask.

"Inciting the opponet to draw a penalty" is such a general description.

Couldn't OV's hot dogging after goals be considered "inciting the opponent"?
 


NHL story on rule change here.
 


I just wish that Broduer would have had a Ron Hextall / Billy Smith moment and gave him the treatment the idiot deserves. Although one could argue that the goalie is then no better than Avery is and should take the 'high road'.

Good on the NHL for taking immediate action to this.
 


Whew! We were that close to becoming the NBA on skates.
 


I agree that Avery's little act should be an USC penalty, but it seems most of the negative reaction is based on some sort of emotional response, like "avery's a punk/goon/idiot, you know what i'd do?!? i'd (insert adjective + verb) that ....". Other than the negative optics of the situation, the worst/most dangerous aspect of his act was his own personal safety (not much padding at all on the back of body parts). Marty's got a full helmet (its like hes specifically equipped to get hit with things! and avery didn't even touch him), so saying they should stop it for his safety is a little hypocritical, considering how much importance (right or wrong) is placed on D and fwd "sacrificing the body" and blocking shots (cringe best wishes, thor /cringe).
I mean, its PRO hockey. it'd be great if they were all, i dunno... Pisani's (classy, respectable), but there's way too much money involved, owners/gms/coaches don't care if they ever talk to them away from the rink, just if they consistently win games.

While I'm here:
doogie +1; i'm sure he's a db pretty much 24/7, too.
doogie -1; "a perfectly cool concept in the mirrored visor" Wha??? ummm, no. just no.
 


I do see it as a safety issue. It's tough enough to play goal without a goddam blindfold. A screen shot is one thing, but somebody interfering directly with your vision is something else. And it's unsportsmanlike.

In football it's called faceguarding, and if the pass defender does it to the receiver it's pass interference unless he's actually looking for the ball. And it's not like the guy who's vision is being obstructed is about to be hit with a 100 m.p.h. slapshot.

It speaks to Avery's character that I find myself whole-heartedly in Gary F. Bettman's corner on this issue.
 


Avery's an idiot, he gave himself no chance to score giving the devils a one player disadvantage instead of two. With his back turned to the action he couldnt have contributed had a rebound come off, and he was lucky that one of his teammates' shots didnt hit him in his ass (brain). Also wasn't he doing as much to defend the net as brodeur, as he was not just shielding brodeur but the goal. One thing can be said about how brave (fuckin stupid) he is for turning his back to slapshot after slapshot, like he was doing a stunt on JACKASS or something. Stevo would have been proud!
 


I wouldn't have Avery on my team. It may indeed be irrational but while I can fully admit he does his job out there, and without much in the way of sacrificing skill, I would rather my GM put money into someone else who can do a similar job and still make me proud out there.

Didn't we once do lists of players we didn't want to play for the Oil? He's tops on mine.

btw: I have no problems with the face to face part of it (aside from it seeming stupid for a - his own safety and b - his innability to contribute to any play being made) but the stick/hand waving thing goes too far. Did he stick out his tongue as well?

My favorite response was Carey Price. When asked about it the rookie goal tender said "No, I've never seen anything like that. Maybe in Adam or Peewee but not at this level."

Avery's a douche.
 


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