You say classless, I say it keeps things interesting...
Midway through last night's victory over the Rangers in The Big Apple, a little disagreement broke out between some of the players. Maybe it was an argument about politics, or perhaps a player's "CHOOSE LIFE!" bumper sticker got on the nerves off an opponent.
Either way, Flyers forward Darroll Powe met Ranger heavyweight Brandon Prust against the boards with a finishing check which started a 3-minute free-for-all along the teams' benches.
Once both skaters grabbed a hold of eachothers collars, it was blatantly clear that Prust would have no trouble beating Powe like a whack-a-mole seeing as how he's got quite the height and reach on Darroll. But Prust pulled a pretty classy move by refusing to go any firther than face washing Powe and holding him in place.
It wasn't until Flyers defenceman Matt Walker came skating in to relieve Powe from the dimming tilt when he was shoved from behind and to the ice by Kris Newbury. What followed next was a chain of fisticuffs.
After Walker took an unexpected tumble to the ice, Jody Shelley made his way to take care of Newbury but was soon distracted by Brandon Dubinsky hopping on Shelley's back....similar to what street hookers do to a customer when he decides to get violent with the talent.
With all the debacles going on at once, it was the dropped mitts between Matt Carle and league agitator Sean Avery that stole the spotlight.
As you may know, Carle is not known for tossing his gear to the ice and squaring up against an opponent all too much. However, he and Avery stack up pretty equally size-wise, so at the time I figured it could make for an interesting contest.
In the video from the bottom, right around the 50-second mark the two lock up and seem ready to throw haymakers. What confused me was Carle's failed decision to begin setting Avery up with a few jabs he had open. Sean wasn't protecting his face and, in hindsight, a couple knuckle snacks from Matt could have changed the outcome of the fight.
It was all Avery when the punches began hailing down. Carle got snuck on the side of the face which forced him to his knees and into a turtle position. Knowing who Sean Avery is and considering his fight record, this wasn't enough to stop him from getting a few extra decks in.
With Carle tucked in a ball, and forearms and hands protecting his head, Sean lowered three more booms to the top of Matt's skull. Immediately Avery was labeled, once again, to be a classless punk who deliberately ignores the unwritten ethics of hockey.
My question is; And you're surprised by this?
"THROW HIM OUT OF THE LEAGUE!"
The demands of viewers and fanatics reigned from every direction down onto the Garden in a simultaneous storm of hatred and disgust.
Look, I want this bag of shit to wind up with his head forced through the boards and coming out on the other side spitting teeth and stomach lining like the rest of us. But one thing I do not agree on is throwing him out of the NHL.
Let me ask you another question; What is it that makes you tune into a Rangers game and watch? Aside from the obvious answer - watching my Philadelphia Flyers - I bet you've said, "Because I want to see what Avery does next"....right?
Well, sir, you're a goddamn liar. He's a loud mouth prick who enjoys starting drama on and off the ice. He feeds from all the hate that, by now, is so powerful that it could create its own supernova.
The fact of the matter is....YOU LOVE TO HATE SEAN AVERY! You WANT to see Sean Avery. You want to see what he does to an opponent, and you want and hope to see what an opponent does to him!
Suspending him is one thing (which is something else I do not agree on solely because I'd rather witness the players enforce justice on this butt-knuckle) but permanently ejecting him from the league would throw a large chunk of highlights, topics of discussion and reasons to watch right down the toilet.
Now, there's no rumor about Sean being suspended or tossed out of the NHL. I figured I'd tackle this debate on my own since it's been brought up countless times.
I am fully aware that my opinion of this matter is a small minority. And please don't get it mixed up with the ridiculous belief that I would ever want him on my team. Because I don't. He's a locker room virus. I always want him on the other end of a Flyers crunch.