The Avery Rule


As expected, the NHL acted swiftly to put an end to Sean Avery’s clever shenanigans in Game 3 (Here’s the “YouTube clip”:

It’s like the NFL ruling that you can’t fumble forward into the end zone after a playoff touchdown happened that way. Avery found a loophole, used it, and it was quickly closed.

Now he, or anybody else who tries it, will get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for faceguarding a goalie as Avery did to Martin Brodeur in Game 3.

Here’s the press release just issued by the NHL:

National Hockey League Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell today issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct: “An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play.”

So there you have it. We saw it once. We probably won’t ever see it again.

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  1. I think the interpretation is BS. Of course the waving of the stick is dangerous and should be penalized. But waving of the arms? I don’t know. I better let that statement digest with my leftover pork chop before I start on digging a hole.

  2. REPOST:

    What’s lost in this play is that he scored a go-ahead goal SECONDS later. The guy just knows how to play hockey. Maybe it’s his fault for having the “sideshow” element to his game, but Avery, if healthy and playing smart, can easily score 20-30 goals in the NHL. People don’t seem to realize this.

    Salty. I’m glad someone else sees this about Sean. Just as a fan of the NHL, they should be looking at him as a goldmine. People would tune in just to watch Sean Avery play. Like I said, it’s a shame they all hate him so much. Sorry Bettman, but Sid the Kid isn’t gonna save hockey like Gretz did. And Ovechkin is great too, but he’s not the answer either. Guys like Avery could really boost the NHL’s profile. AND HE PLAYS IN NEW YORK. Oh well, somehow their marketing geniuses don’t see this. Whatever, All I really care about is Aves and the boys hoisting the Cup in June.

  3. To credit avery, I think, most of his antics and remarks that gave him the rep he has began well before his days on broadway. But if you can look at this(link below) and defend it, then you have a problem and you are a disgrace to hockeyfans worldwide. I don’t think he’s earned the right for this to be overlooked yet.

  4. I think they’re just trying to nip it in the bud.

    If you let it go, what’s to stop a player from just putting their hands in front of a goalie’s face the whole time, as long as no contact is made.

    Irregardless of Avery or anyone else, and not just regarding this statement…Sometimes things aren’t in the rule book, but that’s when the phrase “in the spirit of the game” comes into play.

  5. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Remember the old days when if something like this was happening a big burly defenseman would come along and clear the crease? Is Reebok going to have the NHL skirt ready for the start of next season?

  6. johnny D,

    I don’t think it could be easier to deflect a shot with your back to the shooter. You’d be reacting after the goalie reacted to the shot. If your only goal is to distract the goalie and screen him then fine but if you want to try and score you should be facing the shooter or at least have your head on a swivel. moot point now tho

  7. The guys running the show at the NHL aren’t geniuses… we all know that. The fact that marketing him either hasn’t come to mind or has been declined shouldn’t be a surprise.

  8. Will this new Reebok skirt you speak of be able to wicker away perspiration and have a breathable material ?

  9. Either way, Avery’s antics were the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. I loved it, even if it’s a one-time thing.

  10. “Is Reebok going to have the NHL skirt ready for the start of next season?”

    Mr. Dr. Ogrodnick. That is good stuff.

    Damn…Just watchin a little youtube can really stir the Avery saga. He is THE league’s super-pest. No question. And that is also THE sharpest double-edged sword there is in the nhl. Without someone to keep any player like that in check, you’re playing with fire.

    As an opponent, you gotta hate the guy. He gives you no other choice. He can take an entire team off their game.

    As an official…you gotta hate the guy. He gives you no other choice. He’ll keep you on your toes.

    As a teammate…you gotta love the guy. He keeps you on your toes. He can change the aspect of a game, he can provide a spark, he can cost your team a man-advantage. He is Sean Avery.

    I’m not running out to by a jersey, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see him walk. I don’t think I’ve EVER, in nearly 30 years of being a Ranger fan, been so split on a player. I think that’s b/c I know he will not retire a Ranger, and he’s not a home-grown kid. I also don’t think he can provide another team, moreso another city, the same that he can provide us in NY.

    I like going back and forth on the Avery topic. I love the arguement both ways. He’s 100% marketable. Good call to whomever brought that up.

  11. Anthony M – Don’t hold your breath on that. Slats has a hard enough time getting other GM’s to deal with him. The last thing he needs is the league on his bad-side too.

    And by the NHL issuing that advisory indicates that Avery did not break any rules. And was rightfully not penalized.

  12. Avery just feels like a Ranger to me, though, Beer, and I would be EXTREMELY sad to see him walk. Why don’t you think he could retire a Ranger? Because he just doesn’t seem like he can stay in one place? Or do you think there are actually signs that point to a departure in the near future (after this year)? I think he takes a lot more pride in the shirt than we give him credit for. NY is a natural fit for Avery, it would pain me to watch him play elsewhere, and to have to play against him.

  13. Beer Me! – Don’t you think that the league is calling it more of a grey area? He didn’t get a penalty, but the next time it happens it will be called. That’s pretty much saying that it’s against the rules and will be enforced.

  14. That rule will have little overall impact to the game. Whatever, it was funny while it lasted.

    What is disappointing is the league’s knee jerk reaction to an incident with Sean Avery. Zednik gets his neck cut open by a skate you don’t see the league mandate neck guards the next day.

    Last I checked, Colin Campbell wasn’t a trained referee or had served as one in a professional capacity. Two seasoned refs didn’t call it a penalty on the ice but now Campbell says its a penalty…..

    It exemplifies the unilateral decision making by the league and Campbell in particular. I would bet just about anything if Elias did that exact same thing, you wouldn’t have seen an interpretation of the rules by the NHL today.

  15. RobC – I really can’t say without breaking my own rule of trying to validate speculation. That said, it’s more of a gut feeling. There’s “tid-bits” I could throw out to further my opinion, but there’s no solid foundation…just a gut feeling. Sorry I couldn’t offer more.

    contact – good point. Yes and no I guess, IMO. I refer back to Shanny’s quote. “Show me the rule book.” If it’s not in there, it’s not a rule. He should know. He helped write the latest edition. I think if you look hard enough, you can find grey areas in 90% of the rules. Its just something you can’t change I guess.

  16. Another crap by this stupid league. They make me sick. Changing rules in the middle of the season. Stupid. That is why hockey will always be a niche sport. Hate Campbell & Bettman.

  17. ehhh…screw work for the rest of the day. Anything else to discuss? haha

    Now that the Avery issue has been clarified by the league, why don’t they address the fact that Marty McFly speared avery in the gonads? It’s not a penalty cause he was provoked? I wonder.

  18. Bottom line….3 goals, 3 games for Avery….keep what you are doing son!

    Keep the stick down, keep the hands down. I am 100% sure if he sits in front of Marty, outside the crease, and just looks him dead in the eye the whole time, moving his head with Marty’s, there is no way he can be penalized. If he waves his stick or his hands to obstruct vision that way, that could be considered unsportsmanlike.

    And one other thing, if Marty takes a shot at Avery (hits him in the Bs, slashes his legs, etc) Aves should flail down and writhe in pain. Marty does this anytime he is touched and the refs call penalties. Such f-ing BS.

    But the league refs really don’t have a frickin clue. Hassenfranz had it in for the team. Massenhoven had a much better game than Hassenfranz.

  19. What if Avery does something different next time by Martina’s doorstep? Maybe like start doing a breakdance routine….how about a helicopter on the ice or something? Perhaps a cart wheel….that would be great…Or maybe even do the Moonwalk in front of the Debbies goalie…..I could see Drury skating over to Avery during the power play and saying, “You better cut out that Soulja Boy dance immediately!”

  20. stf – I totally know where you’re coming from. But the technicality that applies here is that no rules were changed. There was an advisory issued on the interpretation of a rule. A rule ‘change’ requires a 30-0 vote by the board of governors.

  21. I think something to discuss is Drury. He’s playing solid hockey so far don’t get me wrong, but I’m kind of waiting for him to score that big playoff goal. Wednesday would be an ideal time for it, no? A few minutes left in the 3rd of a tie game, Dru bangs in a rebound on the doorstep to really put the Devils on the ropes? I would love it.

  22. New Newman – See that I’d have no problem with. Keep your stick down, don’t wave your arms, just put your ass or your face right in Marty’s. That’s a good play.

  23. Rob – Drury has disappointed me. Madden has owned him on face-offs, has hasn’t hit the net at all, and he’s been a bit invisible.

    I expect him to pick it up, though.

  24. call it the Lou L. rule

    or the Marty whiner rule

    does anyone think that they did not have plenty to do with Colie folding like a cheap suit to accomodate them in every way he can?

    Sutter can stand on the boards, break a stick over them, and not get a penalty of any kind.

    Lou, according to witness reports, went ballistic on the refs in the hallway after the game, doing a have-another-donut tantrum on them, and he got nothing but better breaks the next game.

    what other league lets a backwater swamp franchise dictate to them

  25. I do agree on Drury, but I jumped on him early this year and he shut me up by playing great hockey in the 2nd half. I think he’s one of those guys you need to watch everyday to really appreciate. That said, he’s gotta be better on draws and yes, step up with a big goal. I think we’re all kind of waiting for it, and like I said, Wednesday could be “Drury Time”

  26. Dubi is right, so it’s ok for Martha to smack Avery in the face with not only no clal but no one to comment yet they decide to MAKE UP A NEW RULE on the fly. SO let me get this straight, make up new rules to “penalize” one team, but do NOTHING to enforce the existing rules. Umm ok makes sense to me.

    This is why the “new” NHL is a farce

  27. what a joke of an article how about Sutter he is a three ring circus breaking a stick over the boards. and having his player all smash there sticks on the way to the locker room. Rangers better be fired up on wednesday.

    and u know what really is a circus having an arena in newark thats a circus

  28. The Devils should have put Avery on his ass…but they couldn’t cause it was a 5 on 3 for the Rangers. Avery was SMART enough to realize this. He figured that if someone did stop defending to come over and hit him, it would have essentially become a 5 on 2 for the Rangers. That’s why he did this in the first place. He would NEVER have done it on a regular 5 on 4 advantage. Yet idiots like this guy from Yahoo think he’s a detriment to the sport.

    You know what the true detriment is to the sport? The way the Devils play hockey, sucking the life out of emotional games until they bore everyone to tears and win 1-0 or 2-1. That’s the reason the sport died in the first place. Too bad the idiots up on 6th Ave. are too STUPID TO REALIZE THIS. Well, they tried with the new rules, but clearly hooking/clutching/grabbing is back in full force for these playoffs. Look at the seconds before Madden’s goal. Was Roszival interfered with by Pandolfo? You could make the argument FOR SURE!

  29. well, I’m glad I’m not alone in being pissed off now. Thanks for reading that guys, sorry. haha

  30. how about the refs enforce the rules that are in play already such as brodure punching avery in the face as he is pulling his hilarious and totaly legal stunt, instead of make up new rules. The second half of the second period was a joke. The calls on the rangers were a non calls in the playoffs. It was the NHL trying to please the Devils and their nonexistant fans.

    Can any one find out of Renny is telling Holweg not to fight or is Holweg just does not want to fight the devils? If Orr was in all these little hug fests would not happen because Orr would drop a devil or two.

  31. when i got home last night from the game i went to the DVR and rewinded it about 15 times trying to find the high sticking call on Rozi and i still cant see it am i the only one..

  32. joejoe….Their was no high stick by Rozy….weird thing was that MSG didn’t have a replay on that call…And even weirder was that Joe Micheletti didnt mention that their was no high stick a thousand times

  33. Man, its gonna be tough waiting for Wednesday night to roll around…It cannot come soon enough for us Rangers fans….What the heck am I gonna do to pass the time? I am sure if I ask the wifey for some sex to make time go faster she will pull a Scott Gomez on me and respond….”What can I say…its playoff time…you just gotta stay out of the box.”

  34. Contact…hang on…Drury won an unconscious 78% of his faceoffs in game 2 and was a massive contributor. He also did pretty well in game 1.

    Did he have a great game 3? Actually no, not very good at all. I would go on to say that he and Gomer and Shanny had weak game 3s.

    But can we expect Drury to win 80% of his draws every game? He was due for a faceoff letdown after his superhuman game 2 performance.

    Need to see him rebound in game 4, but I think “disappointed” is a bit strong?

  35. they just had those jerks Mike and Mad dog saying they did not like what Avery did. especially that clueless mad dog. at least Mike said that he thinks the devils should take care of it, that they should not be changing the rules in the middle of the playoffs.

  36. Does anybody (Sam, Carp, Josh, anyone?) knows if Sather is going to do anything about this sick situation? Does he complain to the league, refs etc.? Lou is whinning all the time, their coach breaks stick and throws it to the ice, GM almost beats the crap out of refs supervisor, assistant captain acts like stupid banging his head in fron of the referee, their all-star-hall-of-fame goalie smacks Rangers players in front of his crease and the LEAGUE does NOTHING? Is it funny or it’s more like tragic? Does anyone defend franchise on Broadway at all? Is this league so stupid and arrogant to ignore the biggest market in the USA? It’s unbelievable… Is there something I don’t understand or maybe I’m just plain stupid? Or maybe somebody tries to make idiots out of Rangers fans?

  37. I’d like to make a quick comparison: Sean Avery is the Esa Tikkanen of the current post-lockout era. They both trash-talk, agitate, score goals here and there, and you love having him on your team, but hate him as the opponent. Sure, Sean takes it to another extreme, but what can you do? I’m sure we would not appreciate these antics as much if Avery did not deliver offensively. But as mentioned already here, he’s got 3 goals in 3 games, including one game-winner and one goal to give them the temporary lead last night.
    I’m also curious why Renney doesn’t switch him back to the Jagr-Dubinsky line, and put Straka back with Gomez and Shanahan. Bottom-line is that the Rangers need to forecheck more aggressively, and perhaps these line changes would do that. Straka is way too fancy with the puck – perhaps getting him away from Jagr would be good. Keep the Devils d-men pinned deep and force THEM into errors. Look what happened with Dubinsky’s first goal. They forced an error by Colin White and Dubi quickly snapped one past an unprepared Brodeur. Force the Devils to take the penalties deep in THEIR own zone. They need to just take it to the Devils. There is no excuse to get out-worked in the playoffs on home ice. Were there questionable calls? Sure, maybe 1 or 2. But if the Rangers want to get those calls, they need to start winning the battles.

  38. let’s face it, stf, Dolan and Sather are both arrogant jerks, not liked at all by their peers.

    they are very unpopular in the Nhl offices as well.

    they are suing the league over a stupid website control issue, and that does not make them more popular either.

    the league shut down for a year and risked their entire business to cater to the small market teams in the league, i.e. a cap. so, it is very clear that the big market teams have little influence over the running of the league.

  39. This is almost comical. The league has a very difficult time marketing personalities, albeit half of the great players speak broken english, and anytime a player demonstrates he has a personality to go with his game, they lock him down.

    Maybe people aren’t so into Sid the Kid, and perhaps Alexander the Great’s look (homeless Beatle) isn’t one the average 20-something kid thinks is cool, or the average 10 year old aspires to be.

    Clearly, they’re doing something wrong. They should go with Avery, not against him; love him or hate him, he puts players in the seats.

    What does the NFL do with T.O? Market him. What does MLB do Manny Ramirez? Market him. What does the NHL do with Sean Avery… put a cork in him.

    Convolluted logic for a league that desperately needs to move beyond Alex Ovechkin and Sid Crosby as the faces of the league. They’re just not that cool, and there’s really no better way to put it.

    Sean Avery, cool dude.
    Alex Ovechkin, weird dude.
    Sid Crosby, feminine “dude”.

  40. The lesson learned from the Devils is: If you throw a big enough temper tantrum after some questionable calls, the league will make it up to you next game. The NHL should have issued a statement discouraging that kind of activity instead of feeding into it.

    Shutting down what would have been a rarely-used tactic like Avery’s is a waste of time. It would essentially render the offensive player useless, unable to make a scoring play if both his hands are up in the air. And as someone else mentioned, no way would a player have the time if it wasn’t a 5-on-3.

    I figured Avery was going to force the Devils to make adjustments during this series, but forcing the league to adjust is above and beyond the call of duty. Avery is one of a kind.

  41. The thing that bothers me most about thi srule is that now there is yet ANOTHER reason for goalies to complain about goals… your’re going to see goalies going STRAIGHT to the refs saying.. he did this, he did that…demanding review, “going upstairs”, slowing down the play… just like the crease rule, just like the kicking rule, here is yet another rule which I think is highly subjective in nature…. whos to say…??

    the rule states “offensive player facing goalie” what if you stood BESIDE him and were trying to deflect a puck downward and your stick happens to block his view? Is that not a possible natural occurance? Meh. I call bullshit.

  42. I agree with you, Brandon. in these days of world combat leagues, etc., trash talking one-on-one battles are the way to go to promote your sport.

    the NHL has it backward. they think that humble polite type guys quietly mouthing we were lucky type platitudes will promote the game. but, all that does is bore fans.

    let the personal battles happen and evolve. promote them to the casual sports fan. that will bring in more attention and fans. certainly the mild-mannered cliche ridden humble in front of a mike type player won’t

  43. Brandon – agree totally.

    Personalities are like land mines. There are some hidden problems and language barriers are added difficulty.

    To make matters worse the league is under constant criticism for poor officiating. Last night I said that the game would be impacted by the officiating in and of itself. That was true.

    Milbury and Campbell have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with their anti-NY bias.

    It is apparent that the NJD franchise is poised to capitalize on this (again).


    I think what they are doing wrong is not dealing with these problems as a whole.

    Officiating – (Time for a whole new breed)
    Personal bias – see above
    Neck guards
    Instigator rule

    Marketing becomes and easier task when the product is well defined.

    There is no theme throughout these intangibles that the league has created.

  44. what a f*king Joke

    Change or altering the rules during the playoffs.

    And that Al guy on MSN is a total canadian marty cock sucker

  45. Salty Slew Foot,

    I was thinking the same exact thing. Not really an easy black-and-white way to interpret that scenario, is there?

  46. I bet if we get out of this round Avery will want the Pens after Gary Roberts called him an idiot.

  47. how about a zubrus,rupp, or white rule.. cheap shot our goalie or players after the puck is frozen does not = matching minors..

    it is a friggin joke, they initiate the interaction and never serve another 2 minutes…

  48. Just win the damn game on Wednesday… (and one after that)

    That’ll shut everybody up.

    Here’s an idea… bring your “A” game for once this post-season and blow these guys out of the water. Stop screwing around with these 1 goal/overtime games.

    Make it freakin happen!

    Let’s GO RANGERS!!!!!

  49. Sounds like a whole lot of over-reacting.

    Basically, they’re just saying that if you do what Avery did, you’re going to the box.

    You’re all reading too much into it.

  50. notice this, guys. they never changed the rule to stop the crease antics of Tomas Holmstrom, or Ryan Smyth, or Dino Ciccarelli, etc.

    but Sean Avery is helping the NY Rangers win hockey games, and poor little Lou and Marty are upset, so the league has got to stop it right effin now.

    the NHL. what a joke.

  51. We will see how much the rest of the league “dislikes” Sean Avery when he hits the free agency market.

  52. jv – How can you compare anything those players did to what Avery did? It’s apples to oranges.

    Look you we all love Avery because he’s capable of anything, and lives on the edge. You have to take the good with the bad. You create a reputation for yourself, this is the consequence. What do you expect the NHL to let Avery just do whatever he wants and “bend” rules without addressing it?

    And I repeat the question that no one wants to answer, apparently…How would you feel if it were happening to Lundy?

  53. I think its a rule that should have been in place before this even happened. Avery is a clown for trying it because he’s a much better hockey player than he gives himself credit for. I wish he’d spend less time being a goofball and more time skating and shooting the puck because he really could be a top two line player in this league.

  54. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Contact, what rule is Avery bending? Brodeur himself said it wasn’t against the rules. According to Shanny’s quote in the post, you need a 30-0 vote by the board of governors to change a rule midseason. The whole thing is shameful by the NHL. I am fine with it, because itr should be pretty easy for the team to get fired up with the “us against the world” mentality.

  55. Ryan Smyth has been doing this for years albeit more subtely than Avery. He is legendary for waving his stick in front of the goaltenders eyes. Does this rule also apply in the Wild-Avs series?

  56. This is off topic from the whole Avery situation, but anyone wanting to see Prucha over Hollweg or is everyone satisfied with Hollweg.

  57. contact, after reading your posts today, I do not compare anything you say to reality.

    Avery did not break or bend any rules, and the refs doing the game saw it that way too.

    only AFTER the game, the whining of Lou and Marty, and guys like you caused them to CHANGE the rules in the middle of the playoffs.

    you call yourself a Ranger fan, and then side with the enemy on key plays and issues that will deflate the Ranger emotion and help determine the outcome. some fan.

  58. Bob Paine – I don’t know what games you’re watching, but Smyth doesn’t do anything like what Avery did. You can post a youtube link and prove otherwise, if you can find one.

    Dr. O – Seriously, it truly is “unsportsmanlike”. It’s not in the spirit of the game.

    Waving your stick in front of the goalie is one thing. To totally disregard play and do jumping jacks in front of him is another.

    I don’t see how some can’t tell the difference between the two.

    I like Avery a lot, I just don’t see this as being worthy of a professional NHL player.

  59. jv – Are you kidding? Side with the enemy? Once again, laughable. It’s a bush league play, and further more, results don’t lie.

    Avery jumping up and down and waving his arms and stick like a lunatic resulted in no goals.

    Avery driving to the net, stick on the ice, facing the puck carrier resulted in a goal. So you tell me what’s more effective.

    Just because I’m an Avery fan and a Ranger fan doesn’t mean I have to like everything he does.

  60. I give contact a gross misconduct for unfanlike conduct.

    yeah, I changed the rules. now how do YOU like it.

  61. So why can’t Avery do it? If the action takes HIMSELF out of the play?

    Marty can stick him (obviosuly becuase he did) and his teammates can slam him… which they’ve done (or tried).

    Why does the rule have to change?

    You can’t tell me that in 100 years of hockey nobody else has done somthing similar. It’s just been handled by the opposing team… not the refs and CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAGUE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PLAY-OFF SERIES.

  62. if you think that what Ciccarelli did was not over the edge, then you are more clueless than previously shown. he tomahawked his stick against the goalie, the dman, and anyone else who got in the way.

    take your gentleman’s hockey, marquis of queensbury bs somewhere else.

  63. jv – You don’t define what’s a fan and what’s not. You’re clearly biased, and that’s not what a fan is. A fan is objective. I can see what’s good for hockey and what’s not.

    The integrity of the game is a little bigger than Sean Fucking Avery. You all seem to complain about the league “changing’ the rules in the middle of a playoff series, but in reality, there was no change. There was CLARIFICATION.

    And if Avery, who’s a pretty good player and doesn’t have to stoop this low, didn’t act like a fool to begin with, such CLARIFICATION wouldn’t have been needed.

    The difference between what Avery did and what other players do is that it was in no way, shape, or form something that happens during the course of a normal game. If it was, we wouldn’t be talking about it. It wasn’t a hockey play, it was bush league. At no other time during a hockey game do you see a player turn his back to the play and wildly wave his arms in front of another player in an attempt to distract him.

    You people need to step back and realize that not everything that a player in a Rangers sweater does is right.

  64. jv – did you ever see Cicarelli play? You’re by far and away exaggerating his exploits.

  65. Oh, and jv – It’s not about being a gentleman, it’s about being a professional.

    If a Devil did the same thing to Lundqvist you’d be crying so friggin hard right now you wouldn’t be able to type.

  66. Mark,

    I’d like to see Prucha in for a go. Hollweg hasn’t done enough to warrant staying in the lineup IMO. The 4th line in general has seemed a bit off all series long.

    Callahan has done way better in the hitting dept, and that’s not even his primary role.

  67. So let me get this straight… it’s not in the “spirit of the game” to distract a team’s goaltender. But it is in the spirit of the game to flop every time an opposing player skates within arm’s length of your crease?

    Goaltender interference used to be a call saved for when a player would bulldoze over the opposing team’s goalie in route to scoring a goal, bringing a whole new meaning to crashing the net. I’d be willing to bet in the early 90’s it was called less than a dozen times a season, including playoffs.

    These days, it seems you can’t go more than a game without seeing it called once.

    It all boils back to league identity. In Bettman’s eyes and the minds of the likes of C. Cambell, calling more penalties equals scoring more goals. I’m not stat guy, but scoring has been down since 2006, and I forsee it continuing on this path. All that has happened with more penalties is team’s have become much better at killing power plays (no more passive box).

    More penalties take the flow and momentum out of the game. They also remove a certain level of physicallity and force players to play tenatively.

    I’d also be willing to wager that the new more passive system has resulted in more injuries. When you’re used to getting hit you brace yourself on every play.

    That being said, I love hockey — ALL sports today have these same issues (football has holding, baseball has bench “warnings” and the NBA is the NBA, foul central). It’s the sue-everyone and everything society where we feel there is a consequence to every action and a vote to every play.

  68. Avery rules (changes) on

    contact, your beanie is spinning just like you are.

    you should be called no-contact after your pansy posts today.

  69. NH goin' to L on

    and the league wonders why scoring is down and ratings are low.

    let’s all play Devils boring dump and trap hockey, and make the goalie’s job easy, and that will fill the seats—NOT !

  70. Mr. Potato Head on

    If Sid Crosby came up with this tactic, there’s no way it’d be banned the next day.

  71. Folks, For my story on this today (for tomorrow’s paper) I talked to a couple Ranger fans. One of them brought up a great point. What makes what Avery did any different than guys on the bench trying to distract skaters by tapping their sticks? Or how about the fake catch-and-drop? Where does the NHL draw a line between gamesmanship that’s been around for years and what’s illegal? It’s tough…I think they could easily go down a slippery slope here.

    Furthermore, I think the most curious part is the timing of it. Was this so series-altering that the league couldn’t wait until the end of the season? I guess the NHL decided it was. It doesn’t sound like many of you agree.

  72. NH goin' to L on

    right, Josh. how is it any different than Brodeur or Hasek flopping like a dead fish when anyone makes even incidental contact with him.

    that kind of diving, when done by a goalie, is just as reprehensible as when done by a skater, but the league does not frown on it or end it with new rules.

    I am sick of goalies who cannot be touched, but can cheat with equipment that is more like the Michelin man than a real legit netminder

    and I would say the same thing if it was Henrik doing the flopping or cheating.

    at least in the days of Billy Smith and Ron Hextall, they fought their own battles and did not hide behind phony rules.

  73. Doodie Machetto on

    I said it earlier today that I expected either Campbell or Bettman to make an official statement.

    however, there is a key word in that statement. It says you have to turn around AND wave your hands and stick.

    So, by that interpretation, you can legally either turn around OR wave your hands and stick.

    But, I wouldn’t risk the refs not calling you for doing only one.

    Avery should be proud that he got a rule made after him.

  74. Who Needs Lohan on

    Was busy at work today gentleman so you all missed out on my hlariously witty posts. With that being said Id like to comment on what went down today. First off, my opinion is that if a Ruutu did that same thing in front of our netminder, 90% of us would be screaming foul. Sometimes you guys just get a little biased.

    At the same time, although I think Avery crossed that proverbial “edge” we all speak of so often when he is the topic, I think it is a bit unfair to single him out like they did and create a rule midseason and even worse mid playoffs. Although I think he is an entertaining player and a skilled one at times, his antics are a bit over the top, and sometimes a bit silly. Come on guys, he looked and acted like a child out there. Sorry to say it but he did.

    Now let me play Devil’s Advocate (no pun intended since I hate everything that organization stands for, i.e. borifying the league). From the leagues point of view, they are trying to reignite the sport onto the national scene. The only way they believe they can do that is to promote their talents i.e. Ovechkin and Crosby and to vehemently oppose anything that resembles the actions that have tainted the league for years. In the last 10 years since 1996-06 or so when was the last time the league had any type of national spotlight for something positive? Almost never! They have had the Colorado Detroit brawls, McSorely’s stickwork, Strikes, Bertuzzi, Simon on two major occasions. Point being, finally since the lockout they can promote two star players, outdoor games bringing in thosands, etc.

    All Avery represents to them is negative press when things are finally going their way. Im not saying I agree with it, just that I see their point of view.

    One more thing, you all have been complaining all day saying that they should be promoting his antics for ratings, etc. Well did it ever occur to you that by creating a mid season rule that it would draw attention to the NHL? Now the average fan can say to one another, did you see what that bafoon on the NYR did last night, I heard he was bangin Lindsay Lohan, etc. etc. Its just like a Rodman. Maybe they want the attention? Its possible, right???


  75. NH goin' to L on

    totally disagree. I welcome them doing the same thing to hank. it would liven things up.

    and how is what Avery did more bush league than what I have seen goalies do countless times–that is, bring their stick up with full force between a guys legs to try to spay and neuter him with their goalie stick. that gets at most a 2 minute penalty, if called at all. that is more bush league than anything Avery did yesterday.

  76. honestly the sad part is no one on the devils even really cared. you think someone would have atleast tried to drop gloves later on in the game. I HATE THE DEVILS

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    WNL. WTF did you say? I totally lost you. haha, its all good.

    I actually couldn’t care less who did it to whom. I like the idea of that type of screen. Although, I stated the stick in the air was probably a bit much. but I love the hands in the face. As soon as I saw it I said to my friend that it would either lead to a rule change or revolutionize the game. Too bad it was the former.

  78. Who Needs Lohan on

    Yeah, I rambled a bit. I guess my final point was that at the end of the day the league gets to draw attention to itself by creating such a rule. I dunno, Im just bored and ready for Game 4!

  79. Who Needs Lohan on

    And NH…L or whatever your name is. He looked like a crazy man. I wouldnt have thought it to be so bad if he was standing there facing him but he was waving his stick in the air like a scene out of Braveheart. Ive seen the guys down the street that hang out in front of the live poultry farm look more civilized…..

  80. WNL…who needs national spot light for the NHL? I sorta like that hockey is more of a cult following sport….I hate the umb dturds last night @ MSG who are there “just to say they were there”….These are the dumb fuggs that were standing up in front of me every time the Rangers had a scoring chance….I told the guy in front of me to sit the fugg down or else….And now lets look at the other sports….NBA? Thats a thug piece of crap league….these guys slap chests after making a fuggin free throw (give me $10 mill a year, and I wont ever miss a free throw)…..MLB? Yea….Bonds & Clemens and the needles sticking out of their asses is something I wanna watch….NFL? Slowly turning into a thug league but probably the most respectable right now….

  81. Who Needs Lohan on

    Liquid, I couldnt agree more. I never said I believed that, I was just thinking out loud how the NHL’s main office might view things.

  82. Who Needs Lohan on

    You guys probably just stopped reading once you saw the words Devil’s Advocate!!!

  83. Doodie Machetto on

    I stopped when I read the words “Who Needs Lohan.”

    Haha, I’m just kidding.

  84. Doodie…Colton Orr has been cleared to play…but needs conditioning (as per the coaching staff) to get back into game shape : )

  85. reginald dunlop on

    Nice to see COLON is still bitter that he got canned…….what was his ruling about spearing? are we now going to put that in the rule book too??? Oh, just turned the page, sorry there it is in the rule book right next to hitting a guy in the melon with your glove……it is illegal after all…..and then there’s a whole page devoted to abuse of the officials…..hmmmmmmm maybe they havent read that far yet….assuming, I know ….that they can read

  86. In all honesty, just like the New York Rangers players (hopefully), I am gonna put Game 3 behind me right now and not dwell on what is and what coulda been….Just like Riche’ wrote on this blog earlier, the Rangers need to come out on Wednesday and be ready to play 60 minutes of hockey. They know they are the more talented, deeper team….this must translate from paper to the actual ice.

  87. Devils cry and complain and the NHL acts swiftly..nice, let Sutter Martha and Lou keep crying and things will keep getting done for the lil debbies..lets see, maybe 10 power plays for the Debbies Wednesday???

  88. I’d like to think we’re good enough to win without such controversial antics. I guess I’m in the minority.

  89. “Where does the NHL draw a line between gamesmanship that’s been around for years and what’s illegal?”

    Good question Josh. My answer to that is: It depends on WHO “crosses” the line.

    Doodie – Funny line about ‘stopped reading when I saw who needs lohan’. no offense lohan, it coulda been anyone.

  90. I’m moving on from this Avery Rule. There are more important things to worry about, and in a few games, we’ll have a new opponent in rnd 2.

    I think is disgusting that the NHL would even consider instituting a new interpretation of a rule in the PLAYOFFS, but they did, and I’m not surprised. At the same time, I think it was a bush-league play and our vets will prevent it from happening again.

    What pisses me off the most is idiots like mike and the mad dog talking about it. And hearing it all over the radio from people that know nothing about the sport to begin with. It’s just another black eye for the sport, and bad press surrounding a Ranger. I’d rather not have the proud Ranger name dragged through the mud by Avery…again.

    I’ve said my peace on it. Looking forward to Game 4 tomorrow. I’m sure Ott fans aren’t looking forward to their game 4. And what an exciting Det/Nash game. Anyone catch it?

  91. Also the Wild/Avs game was exciting as well…..I always wondered why it seems when watching other teams play, the game always looks faster and sped up. Maybe its because their is no anxious nervous feeling watching a non-Rangers game and it appears that way….but the Minnesota Wild were quick and unlike the Rangers PP, they move the puck very fast. I think thats one thing the Rangers lack, a PP point man who backpeddles and straddles the blue line area to get into better shooting & passing lanes….It seems like our point men are like pylons out there, even not when on the PP….We def. need to address the mobility issues for next year on the back line.

  92. liquid – Missed it. On too late for me. I need my beauty sleep.

    I hear what your saying about watching other teams. I think it’s a little of both. Especially when it’s Rangers/Devs. I’m pullin for COL to win that series. They were killed by injuries this year and it’s a slight miracle they’re even in the playoffs. Plus I drew them in a playoff pool.

  93. New topic. Getting ahead of myself but lets say the Rangers face Pittsburgh next round. I think we desperately will need Orr back in the lineup considering they are playing Laraque. Avery probably cancels out the impact of Gary Roberts but that still leaves some pretty tough characters in Ruutu and Orpick. Thoughts?

  94. Is not done yet, so let’s not talk about next round. Now, tomorrows game is really important for Rangers. They need to simply prove they’re better team.

  95. about avery, this guy loves to be the villain. He says things to piss off fans and gets people in the seats of other teams buildings just to boo him. He’s like floyd mayweather. He runs his mouth before fights just to further promote and get people to show up to see him get his ass beat. The NHL needs more averys just to add personality instead of the same cliché quoted players.

    Also this rule doesn’t prohibit avery from faceguarding the goalie as long as he stays in a “hockey” position. He can also face the shooter and put his arms and hands up to screen the goalie. So he can still pull this off again just he can’t do it while facing the goalie. Haha.

  96. Another day goes by and I am the only one with this beard thing going. Come on fellas, and ladies if you can grow one, and I know some that can, let’s see some competition here.

  97. The funny thing about this beard is that the longer it gets and the scummier I feel about it, the more compliments I get on it. The women I work with love it, which is hilarious to me.


    (I don’t think they’ll win either salty, but I wish they would)

  99. Conversation that took place at work between myself and the head of HR regarding my playoff beard.

    (I walk to my mailbox to pick up an envelope… HR woman standing at said mailbox)

    HR: “I notice you’re growing a beard”
    Me: “I guess so”
    HR: “Any particular reason?”
    Me: “I decided I’m not going to shave any longer because I don’t like shaving.”
    HR: “Really?”
    Me: “No, not really.”
    HR: “I think I like it.”
    Me: “Do you really like it”

    (HR lady gazes at beard thinking “this goes against company code but it looks sexy”)

    HR: “I’ll think about that; you might want to shave”
    Me: “If I get around to it”

    The saga continues…

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