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Posts Tagged ‘Ilya Kovalchuk’

March 2, Revisiting Ballard’s KO of Vokoun

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey guys,

So, I’m pretty busy tonight with a lot of class work, so I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet. Many hockey fans probably remember when Panthers’ defenseman Keith Ballard recklessly knocked out his own goalie, Tomas Vokoun, following a goal scored by Ilya Kovalchuk, then of the Atlanta Thrashers. Ballard swung his stick at his own net in an effort to break his stick, but instead wound up breaking his goalie’s face. The most inexplicable part of the whole thing is that Ballard somehow seemed to not know what he did even after he did it. Obviously he didn’t do it on purpose, but his demeanor was very questionable following the KO.

Check it out:

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March 1, This Is Sean Avery

March 1, 2011 1 comment

Hey guys,

Sean Avery on his first team, the Detroit Red Wings fighting Trevor Linden. // IMAGE Ioffer.com

So today I decided I would dedicate my post to the most polarizing man in the NHL, Sean Avery of the New York Rangers. Avery is famous for his antics on the ice, and his salacious comments about ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert, and her then boyfriend Dion Phaneuf.  The comments got Avery suspended from the NHL, forced him to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and ultimately led to his release from the Dallas Stars and signing with the New York Rangers for a second regime.

Avery gives his supporters hoards of ammunition to make them love him, and even more ammunition for his haters to hate him. From his propensity for fashion, to his willingness to throw down with any player, he is a deeply interesting player, who does not fit the mold of a prototypical NHL player. Avery has earned the reputation as the league’s pest, from the very first day that he skated on NHL ice with the Detroit Red Wings. In his earlydays in the NHL, he drew guidance from some of the greatest players of his generation.

 

Sean Avery doing his fashion thing. An aspect of his life that arms his critics with ammunition. IMAGE // http://www.bittenandbound.com

Ansar Khan of MLive.com did a story back in December of ’08, where Chris Chelios and Kris Draper reacted to Avery, and his comments about Cuthbert. The following quotes were lifted from Khan’s story:

Chris Chelios said he had to kick Avery out of his house after living with him for three weeks during the NHL lockout in 2004-05, when they were playing for the UHL’s Motor City Mechanics.

“He turned my house upside down,” Chelios said. “It was funny, but after a while … ”

Chelios said “anything goes on the ice,” but added, “there are certain lines you don’t cross.

“I wouldn’t listen to anything he says, because sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s just dumb,” Chelios said. “He was never a problem here. He said dumb things, but we had such a veteran team, guys like Mac (Darren McCarty) and Shanny (Brendan Shanahan) would straighten him out if he stepped out of line.

“Hopefully, he won’t miss too much time and he’ll learn his lesson. He’s not a bad kid, he’s just had bad judgment once in a while.”

Kris Draper trains with Avery for a few weeks every summer in Toronto. He echoed Chelios’ sentiments that Avery is “a good guy” with poor judgment. But Draper questioned whether a comment deserved the same punishment as a dirty on-ice hit.

“The one thing I’ve always said about Aves is, if he would just keep his mouth shut and play the game he’d be a very effective hockey player,” Draper said. “I’ve tried to tell him that. I’m sure I haven’t been the only one.”

Avery squares off with Ed Jovanowski while a member of the LA Kings. IMAGE // UPI.com

I wish I could find the article that I read about Chelios and Avery’s relationship when he was freshly broken into the league, but I found Chelios’ comments to be hilarious. I can’t remember the exact context, but here’s the jist of it. Apparently Chelios had Avery over his house for dinner, or some sort of social gathering, but Chelios eventually had to kick Avery out of his house because he was forcing Chelios’ kids to fight each other…. So Avery.

So now I will make my plea to the Rangers about Sean Avery. In his fifth season with the New York Rangers, it has become clear to me what he has to offer this team. Avery has had a bad rap for taking bad penalties that have cost the Rangers, but from my perspective, Avery is a very underrated and underutilized player. All things aside about his antics, or his reputation, when he is on the ice, he brings energy. Avery hustles for every puck on every play, and plays his heart out. He creates chances, and has an uncanny ability to take star players off their game.

Avery gets into it with Brodeur, further fueling the Hudson River Rivalry. IMAGE // Americalovescountdowns.com

Rangers fans need not look back further than his first stint in New York, when the 6th seeded Rangers took down the 3rd seeded Thrashers with a four games to zero sweep. Avery forced Kovalchuk to essentially go nuts, and completely abandoned his discipline and ability. Avery also brought back a spark that was missing in the Rangers and Devils rivalry when he angered Martin Brodeur past the point of tolerance, to the point that Brodeur refused to shake Avery’s hand following the Rangers 4-1 series win.

So, to get to the YouTube video for Avery today, I will show the video that I saw when I first learned that he would be coming to the New York Rangers. It was a pretty good indication of what he would bring to the team, and I still watch it here or there for a good laugh.

Enjoy.

And, the infamous Brodeur incident.

February 19, A look back at Richard Zednik

February 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Richard Zednik had the wherewithal to get up immediately once he was sliced, and skate to the bench for medical attention. Image courtesy of http://www.arstechnica.com

Today is close to the three year anniversary (Feb. 10, 2008) of that brutal play where Richard Zednik almost bled out on the ice. This came up in conversation last night when we were watching the Rangers, Devils game, which I might add was a shit show for the Rangers. Lundqvist is the only reason the Devils only won 1-0 and not much more. There was a play in the game last night where Kovalchuk took a reckless swing at the puck in the air, and smacked a Ranger (I think Wolski) in the face.

 

Zednik has not played in the NHL since the 08-09 season, but played in the KHL in the 2009-10 season. While he did play in the NHL, he was successful, by no means a great player, but certainly had an NHL career to look back at with reverence. Zednik is the type of player that went about his business, tallying 200 goals and 179 assists in his 15 year career (10 of which he played at least 49 games.)