Avery gets his comeuppance?
Reader Mark C. passes along a video from last night's Nashville-Los Angeles game in which tough guy Darcy Hordichuk tries to pound on a turtled Sean Avery [click on Avery v. Hordichuk under Nov. 24].
Avery, one of the league's major mouthpieces, is reknowned for not being able to 'back up' both his on-ice and off-ice actions. It's up for debate if what he did here — knocking Paul Kariya from behind in a play that could have been more dangerous than it was and certainly more so than it had to be — merited a pounding, but with the Predators up 4-1, I doubt Predators coach Barry Trotz would be overly critical of Hordichuk's actions. In addition, Avery had been penalized in the second period for a high cross check on Hordichuk.
Hordichuk received 27 minutes in penalties on the play (instigator, fighting major, 10-minute misconduct, game misconduct), and while the Kings didn't score on the ensuing power plays (does anything on hockey other than a power play 'ensue'?), they did score two late goals to bring the score to 4-3.
Avery's enemy list is getting long.
The other thing I really notice in the clip is the call by the Kings play-by-play team. I have to say, the most disheartening thing about the NHL Centre Ice package is hearing how partisan the broadcasters are to their home teams.
I suppose that makes games more enjoyable for casual fans, but I'd really prefer the generally 'neutral' calling Canadians get on your average TSN Wednesday night game. Why the Kings broadcasters couldn't have acknowledged that Avery's hit was, at the very least, borderline, I don't know.