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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sean Avery Rule

By now I'm sure you've all seen the highlights of New York Rangers pest, Sean Avery standing in front of Martin Brodeur wagging his stick and such.

If not, here you go and keep your eye on the front of the net:

Since this move the NHL has decided to change the rules on the fly and institute the "Sean Avery" rule where that is now a penalty. The NHL is calling this an intent to instigate an opponent into taking a penalty.

I am in total disagreement with the league on this one for a couple reasons.

First off, there was no rule until 48 hours ago about standing face to face with the goalie to screen him the way Avery was in Game 3. Now, the NHL closed the "loophole" in the middle of the playoffs. If the league has a problem with what happened you address it after the season. You can't go changing or amending the rules in the middle of the playoffs like they did.

Secondly, I don't see what the big deal is. If you are dumb enough to stand with you back to the play knowing that heavy shots are coming your way, go ahead and do it. Also, if you've got the testicular fortitude to stand there like that you should be able to.

It's not like Avery was touching Brodeur or hindering his movement at all. I used to play goal and if someone was screening me, I moved him out of the way. It doesn't take much to move a guy out of the way. A quick little chop at his skate blades and the way is clear again.

If someone was ever standing face to face with me, I'd do the same thing. I also played forward for much of my playing days and after seeing Avery do that, I thought to myself "Why didn't I ever think of that?"

It's such a simple concept. What is the big deal with standing face to face with the goalie so you can see his eyes and know where he's trying to find the puck? If guys are allowed to stand at the top of he crease and block the goalie's sight-line, why does it matter if he's sticking his rear end in his face or standing face to face? A screen is a screen.

It will be interesting to see how Avery is dealt with in Game 4 tonight. As a Penguins fan I don't really like the guy, but I know if he was on the Pens he'd be one of my favorite players in no time. You can hate on Avery all you want, but I'd be willing to bet that most of you would like him too if he suited up for your club.


Anonymous said...

Good call on Avery. I hated him, too, until he joined my team. He's now arguably my favorite player.

John Stehle said...

First off, Avery is a cheap, lowlife. He has no respect for the game or those who play it. His cheap shot on Crosby, hitting him in the face with his stick while Crosby was on the ground was sickening.

Changing a rule to stop him from putting his stick in front of a goalie isn't a huge rule. Nothing drastic. It just enforces him to stop being a child and start playing hockey.