Andrew and I were watching some of the Pens ‘n’ Sens game last night (go Pens!), and during Coach’s Corner (I think) were treated to a clip of recent behaviour by the Rangers’ Sean Avery.
Maybe it’s because he was doing it to Martin Brodeur, maybe it’s because we grew up watching hockey where there were guys on the ice specifically to prevent shit like that, but both of us sat there in open-mouthed “Are you fucking kidding me?” dumbfoundedness.
Sure, technically Avery wasn’t breaking any rules. Guys like him rarely do. They stay within the letter of the law whilst pooping all over the spirit of it. Thanks, instigator rule!
Delightfully, in addition to other players, fans, and Don Cherry, the League wasn’t a fan of his behaviour, either (link courtesy of Andrew), but still, dude’s only gonna get two minutes for pulling those kinds of shenanigans. Do you think he cares? He’ll just have other tricks up his sleeve.
Thing is, the numbers speak for themselves. His schtick is effective. He makes people mad, mad people do stupid things, stupid things get penalized, and penalized teams get scored against.
I like fast, skillful hockey, and there are certain advantages to the evolution the game has undergone. But at the same time, I gotta say, I would have loved to have seen Avery try that shit on Belfour… 🙂