How dare Chris Pronger get penalized for the "Sean Avery" rule?! Now, we know Pronger is the all-time leader in unsportsmanlike penalties (actually, statistically speaking, I am wrong, but who cares about stats, anyway?!), but he took things a bit too far when he actually did a pretty good Avery imitation. However, he did it wrong. Here's what I mean:
- First of all, in order to act like a complete idiot and complete the "Sean Avery" rule, you have to face the goaltender you are trying to make try to kill you...if that made any sense at all. If you have your back turned towards the goalie, you simply look like you're waving to him and you're also in danger of being run over by the goalie. Advice to Pronger: face the goalie and get in his face. Really.
- Secondly, you have to wave your stick in the air. Now, Pronger's stick is kind of like magnetically forced into the ice, but it doesn't matter, you have to raise your stick and block the goalie's vision. If you don't, it'll look like you're acting like a forward trying to deflect the puck into the net or prepare yourself for a secondary scoring chance. Since we know this is clearly not the case in this scenario, it means Pronger is an idiot. Advice to Pronger: once you have properly turned to face the goalie, get your hockey stick up in the goaltender's face. Don't be scared of him, just remember, if the goalie grabs your stick, break it, and you'll draw a penalty.
- The third thing I didn't like was that Chris Pronger was hardly even in front of the net. His positioning was absolutely terrible. In order to fully appreciate what Sean Avery did, you have to get in the goalie's face and skate into the blue crease. Warning: you may get called for goalie interference, but since you're such an idiot already, it really doesn't matter. Advice to Pronger: get into the crease take the cross-check. You've injured enough guys where you could probably handle a few checks yourself.
However, I feel that I am being a bit harsh on Mr. Pronger here. After all, he wasn't obvious with the way he gestured Miikka Kiprusoff. There's no way Avery could ever get away with what he did then in today's NHL, which raises the question: why is Avery still in the NHL? Chris Pronger will always have his size, which allows him to bulldoze other players at his will, which is nice for him, because it keeps guys like Pronger in the league and getting paid quite well while doing so.
Now, since I was on the subject of dirty hits, Sidney Crosby has received a lot of criticism for his "dirty play" against the New York Rangers, and specifically Ryan Callahan. I had two initial reactions to this: a) if any player NOT named Crosby had committed such evil, would we even care? b) It's against the Rangers, so everyone should applaud Crosby. But, of course, to be politically correct, I suppose I must agree with everyone else and come to realize that Crosby is a dirty player. Considering that Alex Ovechkin has already been deemed evil by many fans, I guess that means Steven Stamkos should be the face of the NHL and an ambassador to sports fans across America. Now, if I could only remember the name of the team he played for...I think it's Tampa. Tampa Bay...Rays???
Okay, quick rant about the new All-Star game format. It's pretty obvious what Gary Bettman is doing. He challenged Colin Campbell to a 2-on-2 fantasy hockey league and Bettman naturally selected Crosby and Campbell chose Ovechkin. Campbell and Ovechkin have had many heart-to-heart talks about suspensions in the past, so they know each other, and well, I don't need to explain Crosby and Bettman's relationship. Oh, shoot, that didn't come out right...
Bettman and Campbell are simply going to brainwash the two stars into picking the players they have in their 2-on-2 leagues and probably made serious bets on who wins. If Bettman's team wins, he gets to lock the NHL out again, but if Campbell wins, Campbell gets to lock the NHL out again. They may have forgotten that the Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn't expire until after NEXT season, however it is Gary Bettman we're talking about.
Let's put this topic to rest at this: I could think of a better way to burn millions of bucks and have absolutely nobody watch three hours of TV. Except I would save hockey fans of the humiliation by posting a blank, black screen for that time.