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Avery ‘gutless’ in Rangers’ 8-2 win over Oilers

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.

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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.

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In response to “Avery ‘gutless’ in Rangers’ 8-2 win over Oilers”

  1. mp mp Nov 14 20106:26 pm


    I am watching it for the first time now, had no idea. The league needs to throw the book at this jackass once and for all. If Doan can get 3 games in which he could have put the guy into next year but doesnt, then Avery a repeat offender needs to be gone for 10 games once and for all!!

    1. F Nov 14 201010:46 pm


      If he does get suspended, there’s no way he’ll get anything close to 10 games. I’d say one or two @ the most.

    2. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:11 pm


      Simply put – WRONG!! Avery might not exude class, but he did not randomly punch Smid (and I would normally defend the Czech guy in any argument)… Smid wanted to go, had his gloves off, turned away because Avery was smart enough to watch the play develop, and got punched. Big deal. If it were anyone but Avery, this discussion wouldn’t be happening at all!

      1. Eric Cooney Nov 15 20104:14 pm


        I gotta say, it was questionable in my opinion. It didn’t look like an outright blindside, sucker-punch, but it did look like Smid thought they were backing off. Even the Rangers announcers were calling it a sucker punch and said Smid looked to be backing off. That’s gotta count for something.

        1. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:20 pm


          The Rags have one of the worst broadcasting teams in the league (and this is coming from a Rangers’ fan!)… I could care less what they have to say.

          Look, I’m not saying it was classy or anything, but you have to consider who you’re dealing with. I love that Avery can piss people off this much. That’s his job!

          If Smid were half as worried about not turning the puck over as he was about trying to start stuff with Avery over a perfectly legal hit, none of this would have happened and the Oilers wouldn’t have gotten destroyed 8-2!!

          1. Eric Cooney Nov 15 20104:37 pm

            Let’s be honest, they still would have gotten destroyed even if Smid didn’t turn the puck over.

            In my opinion it’s not cut and dry and there is no way to know for sure who said what or who did what. Did it look like a sucker punch to me? Yeah, sorta. Do I think it’s fineable/suspendable? No, because they both dropped the mitts. IF Avery did in fact say “I won’t fight you” then sucker punch Smid, I would say it’s a dishonorable way of approaching that part of the game. BUT there is no way of knowing for sure that’s how it went down.

            And I will concede, Avery is effective at agitating the competition and that’s his job.

          2. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:42 pm

            That’s a good point Eric. If there were reliable transcripts of what was said, other than just teammates’ comments about it, then perhaps we could have a discussion about what really happened. Looked to me like Ladislav was ready to fight, but Avery kept his head up to see what else was happening. Then it all happened too fast for Smid, and he got decked.

            Oh well, Brandon Dubinsky is the only one who got fined, which is retarded (Peckham, Avery, or any player who tried to get into the dressing room hallway)…. Dubi did nothing wrong. Such is today’s NHL. Bunch of beurocrats with nothing to do making arbitrary decisions… Sounds a bit like politics!

  2. NYR Nov 14 201010:31 pm


    Suspensions won’t happen for any of this. Fines will bee levied, though. Expect fines for Peckham, and perhaps Fraser.

    Don’t challenge players to a fight if you don’t intend on fighting.


    1. Scott Pattison Nov 15 20102:49 pm


      Absolutely concur regarding Smid’s challenge. However, based on accounts of what was said between these two players, it appears as though Avery once again crossed the line. Avery allegedly told Smid to wait, to wait, then lunged at him with a sucker punch. Not cool in any school.

      There’s a code in the league, and Avery has ignored it time in, time again. Avery may not face league repercussions, but certainly player retaliation down the line.

      - SP

      1. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:13 pm


        With all due respect, Scott, Gary Bettman made that code irrelevant. Plus, any time you get THAT close to fighting, you should be aware of your surroundings. Also, Smid HAS to know Avery, and how he acts, so he should have had his head on a swivel the whole time.

        In my books, the only person who should have been fined was Peckham! Yet, somehow, Dubinsky gets the only league punishment? Well done Bettman! You’re killing the game!

        1. Scott Pattison Nov 15 20104:25 pm


          Certainly agree, Laddy surely has to be more aware of the dubious rep of this player and be ready for anything. However, Smid’s gloves only came off in defence, at the last second when he realized Avery was not going to act with honour and square off with him legitimately, as opposed to attempting to land a bomb, after allegedly stating he wanted Smid to “wait”. You should be talking about Avery’s actions – not Smid. It reminds me of the argument regarding “Hitting From Behind”, where colleagues attempted to justify that s… by stating victims shouldn’t put themselves in vulnerable positions to begin with. Nonsense.

          IMO, another gutless play by Avery. As for Peckam, he likely should have received some sort of third man in penalty, but that sort of accountability is precisely what the Oilers have been lacking this season. That’s what needed to happen in the first period, not the last, much as their head coach alluded to in his post-game comments.

          No disrespect taken Dan. I appreciate your opinion.

          - SP

          1. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:35 pm

            Look, the saying goes “know your enemy”… If Smid was a little bit smarter, he would never have even approached Avery. You know something silly will happen, no question. Smid isn’t exactly a fighter to begin with, so why start with a guy with questionable character? He could have gone after Prust or Dubinsky… He could have actually defended a teammate instead of taking exception to a CLEAN HIT by Avery. Hell, it was a great check!!!

            My point isn’t so much to defend Avery, as we all know he’s a douche (although I like him on my team), it’s simply more to point out that there was really nothing cheap about it.

            If I ask you to fight, I should expect that you’ll do whatever you can to gain an upper hand. That could involve kicking me in the sack, or pulling my hair, or biting, or whatever. The least of my worries if you’re telling me to wait is “will he punch me”?

            Trust me, when I was playing, I was very similar to Avery. My job was to start fights and shift momentum. I was never a goal-scorer, but I was adequate as a setup man, so I played top to second line minutes. We averaged two bench-brawls per game!

            Not saying my opinion over-trumps everyone else’s, but let’s face it, if that were ANY other player, nobody would give a crap!

        2. Margaret DeJesus Nov 15 20108:23 pm


          Agree with Dan here on this one. We’ll never know for sure what Smid and Avery were chirping at each other. Both gloves dropped. Smid challenged him to fight, he fought. The hit on Fraser was clean to begin with so if Smid wanted to stand up, he should have kept his guard up. He knew he was dealing with Sean Avery.

          Dubsinky getting fined is ridiculous. He never left the bench.

  3. pharmacy technician Nov 15 20103:58 am


    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    1. Scott Pattison Nov 15 20103:11 pm


      Much appreciated.
      - SP

  4. teri Nov 15 20109:08 am


    If anyone is surprised by this all I can ask is: When did you start watching hockey? This weekend or last?

    If I were a Rangers fan I would be ashamed to admit it. So I’m glad I’m not.

    1. Scott Pattison Nov 15 20103:10 pm


      Especially, given the fact Slats had an opportunity to bury this contract, but he chose not to.

      When your own teammates are talking negatively about you, it can’t be good for team chemistry on the bench and in the dressing room.
      – SP

      1. Margaret DeJesus Nov 15 20108:30 pm


        Great article though and coverage of the Oilers! I felt bad for Tom Renney yesterday. He did a great job in NY and I still think it was a mistake giving him the pink slip so prematurely.

        I disagree with Christensen for running his mouth off about a fellow teammate, especially immediatly after the game. If he disagreed with how he handled himself, he should have dealth with Avery, not trash talked him in the media. I could see how it’s viewed as a “sucker punch” but the officials didn’t call it so what gives him the authority too. Of course, he’s the one who gets the goal tonight. I’m guessing “handled internally” means benching Avery because he’s on the fourth line with mini minutes

        1. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20108:35 pm


          Avery thrives with “mini-minutes” though, so perhaps this is misplaced internal discipline…. 3 shots already tonight!

          1. Margaret DeJesus Nov 15 20108:53 pm

            But he’s stuck with Todd White, no offense to him (pun intended ;) Brandon Prust is getting more minutes than Sean the alleged menace. I would move him with Boyle n Fedotenko

        2. Scott Pattison Nov 16 20102:24 pm


          Christensen, I believe, is an Edmonton boy, so perhaps his media comments were driven a bit by that, though I maintain it’s more likely due to the history of emotional instability that dogs this player that forces his teammates to publicly admit their embarrassment with Avery’s continued nonsense.

          An update on Laddy’s health, Smid did not participate in Monday’s on-ice practice session in nearby Sherwood Park, the result of Avery’s actions.

          It would have been interesting were these two clubs scheduled to meet again this season.

          Regarding your other comment, I’m skeptical of Renney’s effectiveness as an NHL head coach. Watched enough of his practices to realize he knows his “xs and os”, but not sure there’s more than that to this guy. Some of his decisions are cause for concern at best, including limiting the ice time of a rookie such as Taylor Hall in OT vs. Jersey, when the kid had a terrific night five on five; starting Khabibulin in The Big Apple instead of the the kid, Dubnyk, after a disappointing road trip etc. Good motivator, something his predecessor, Pat Quinn, failed to do.

          I appreciate the note.

          – SP

    2. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:17 pm


      Apparently you started watching last night, because this is nothing new in the NHL… Next year, the biggest cheap-shot artist in the history of hockey will be up for Hall Of Fame nomination (Claude Lemieux). If you think Avery’s bad, watch some old film on Lemieux! Or, if you prefer, Kenny Linesman!

      You people just love to hate Avery, and that’s what makes him effective! Even by throwing a big hit and then throwing one questionable punch, he’s generating more talk than any other player in the league!!!

      There was really very little wrong with what Avery did. Anyone who tells me Smid didn’t see it coming is either retardedly naive, or simply hasn’t been in a fight. You use ANY advantage you can gain in a fight. Fact is, Smid has no business dropping the gloves (which he did before Avery).

      Avery watched the play develop like any good player should. The only solution is to have the refs/linesmen step in and count “Ready – Set – Go” if you want a fair fight. Even then, Avery would have kicked Smid’s ass.

      And by the way – I LIKE SMID!

      1. Scott Pattison Nov 15 20104:32 pm


        History cannot be rewritten nor forgotten – Avery’s a “D”ouch Bag with a capital D, much as Lemieux was.
        Hey, don’t get a Wingnut started on that piece of s…
        Okay, now I’m pissed off thinking about the hit on Kris Draper.
        Way to go Dan! :)
        - SP

        1. Dan Rakusan Nov 15 20104:36 pm


          You’re welcome sir! :)

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