The Edmonton Oilers weren’t talking about their latest embarrassing loss following today’s 8-2 lopsided defeat to the New York blue shirts.
They were talking about the “gutless” circus sideshow that is Sean Avery.
“Gutless, when a guy turns his back on him,” said Oilers’ tough guy Steve MacIntyre, referring to Avery’s third-period sucker punch of Edmonton D-man Ladislav Smid.
“He doesn’t go after somebody bigger and tougher…he’ll get what’s comin’ to him,” MacIntyre told Sportsnet TV.
Edmonton blueliner Ryan Whitney echoed MacIntyre’s sentiments.
“Ladislav asked him to fight, Avery told him to wait, to wait. Then Lady turns his back On Avery and he gets sucker punched by him. Avery is an embarrassment.”
Avery’s latest ridiculous lapse of judgement occurred late in the third period after blowing up Colin Fraser along the boards, which motivated Smid to approach Avery for a man-to-man. After Smid backed off, Avery decided to pounce, surprising the Edmonton blueliner with sucker punch to the nose, which dropped Smid like a wet sack of prairie wheat.
All heck broke loose between the two benches as the NHL’s “circus act” left the ice.
Arguably, there’s a certain honour watching two warriors like MacIntyre and Derek Boogaard drop the mits, not once, but twice in one game.
Watching Avery sucker punch an unsuspecting opponent, possibly risking a concussion, as his head bounces off the ice?
Cowardly, plain and simple.
The successful agitation this player imposes on opponents pails in comparison to the knuckle-headed nonsense that has dogged Avery throughout his career.
He’s a sideshow, who will undoubtedly fall under the league’s punitive microscope, once again, for this latest incident.
Aside from the Avery debacle, Edmonton, sitting in last place in the league, is now riding a four-game losing streak, after going 1-3-1 on its recent road trip.
A memory rookie Taylor Hall, who celebrated his 19th birthday today, will undoubtedly soon like to forget.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up…sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.