NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers throws his gloves and starts to fight with Ladislav Smid #5 of the Edmonton Oilers after they had words during the third period of a hockey game at Madison Square Garden on November 14 2010 in New York New York. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
So a lot is being made over what went on between Sean Avery and Ladislav Smid during yesterday's 8-2 thrashing of the Edmonton OIlers. Like most of you, I was watching the game from home, and after watching the replays several times, I had no problem with how things went down. Smid dropped his gloves almost immediately after Avery did, and took one in the mush. The Oilers can complain all they want, but it looks to me like sour grapes from a guy who let a player a head shorter than he is get the best of him.
I am not the biggest Sean Avery fan in the world. I definitely think he can be a punk, and he does a lot of things that you have to groan and roll your eyes at, like the Tim Thomas head slap incident from last year. I will be the first to tell you, that while Sean Avery is often a victim of his reputation, it is a reputation he has earned, no one gave it to him. But in this case, I'm giving the benny of the doubt to Aves.
That being said, I have a problem with Erik Christensen speaking out against Avery, to the media. Erik, you have a problem with what Avery did? Fine, tell Avery, not the Edmonton Journal, and certainly not Larry Brooks. You don't hang a teammate out to dry in the media, no matter who it is.
To me, by speaking out like this, it sets the wrong tone. The next time the Rangers play Edmonton, and the OIlers are undoubtedly looking for their pound of flesh from Avery, will Erik step in to help his teammate, or will he be thinking "well, Sean is getting what he had coming to him."?
Don't go against the family Erik. Pull the guy aside, talk to him, tell him you think it was wrong, agree to disagree, and go play hockey.