Tag Archives: Avery

Top Tough Guys

Every team has the player who is the scrapper, the guy who causes trouble for the opposing team.  But not only do some of the top tough guys cause problematic penalty points, these guys can score.

David Clarkson- New Jersey Devils

Never was a fan of the Devils, rather was a New York Rangers fan.  Anyone living in the tri-state area can tell you, it’s not an option to be a fan of both. My nephews played hockey in New Jersey and often met the Devils in their junior leagues.  Still wasn’t a fan.  Then, last season I picked up David Clarkson on my fantasy hockey team because he got into a fight every week; he was a guaranteed five for fighting.

After a lengthy stint on injury reserve, New Jersey Devil’s David Clarkson returned packing punches for ten penalty minutes for fighting twice with Calgary Flame’s Jamal Myers.  The right-winger has a total 16 points for the season, which may not seem like much but Clarkson can score with the best of them.  He has 54 penalty minutes thus far, but that stat should climb.

The NHL Network named David Clarkson one of the top tough guys, ever.  He’s not afraid to pick a fight to turn the momentum to his team and it’s showing as the Devils are heading into the playoffs in a comfortable fourth position in the Eastern Conference.   He has been the main reason I am a fan of the Devils, but will follow Clarkson whatever team he plays for in the future.

Sean Avery- New York Rangers

I put Avery on the list because he has 133 penalty minutes, and seems to get into a scruff any chance he can.  I’ve seen Adam Foote back down from a charge from Avery.  He has the ability to score as he has 25 points this year.  Though the Rangers are fighting an uphill battle this season sitting in ninth in the Eastern Conference and will most likely miss any playoff run, Avery hasn’t backed down. But Avery will have to take his energy elsewhere once the playoffs begin if the Rangers are not able to perform a playoff run miracle.  Perhaps his previous internship with Vogue magazine could offer him some part-time seasonal work.  The day Sean Avery works the runway at Bryant Park is a proud day for Rangers fans, at least the ladies.

Daniel Carcill0- Philadelphia Flyers

He taunts the crowd after he’s won the fight on the ice.  He’s a dude you want in your corner if you like the penalty minutes and tough energy.  Carcillo has 156 penalty minutes and 16 points this season.  He’s prone to suspensions, and is the bad kid on the team who behaves for a game or two then lets the fury out of the bag.  You either love him or think he’s overrated.

Colton Orr-Toronto Maple Leafs

As a Rangers fan, Orr was the other tough guy to complement Avery.  The NHL Network also named Colton Orr one of the best tough guys.  Orr ranks third thus far in penalty minutes with 170.  Scoring isn’t his priority with four points, so it’s safe to say he’s the pummel hound no matter what team he’s with.  Now with the Leafs, Orr has kept his image intact in Canada.

Alex Burrows- Vancouver Canucks

The Western Conference is riding high with top talent this year, and Burrows lays claim to the much of the Canucks’ success.  Having been moved to the top line with the Sedin brothers, Burrows has become one winger who can split the stats between plays and punches.

Alex Burrows fought his way to the NHL up through the ranks, and now boasts 55 points, 94 penalty minutes and an amazing plus-32 rating.  Though Burrows seemed to be in a slump early in the year, it’s been my experience that he heats up later in the year.  I picked him up when someone dropped him last year and have never looked back.

Cody McLeod- Colorado Avalanche

This is more of a personal choice because I live in Denver and know more about Cody McLeod from local stories, Avs skates and training camp.  McLeod is a true hockey player in the sense that he just wants to play the game and loves every minute of it.  He’s not into the flashy lifestyle as Sean Avery, rather he’s a Canadian boy who takes one for the team.  For fans, he’s available for autographs, usually walking right into the sea of fans to shake hands and pose for pictures.  Fans love to thank him for taking the punches and scraps against other players to defend the honor of the Colorado Avalanche; it’s just part of his game.

These are just some of my favorite tough guys, because without these guys hockey wouldn’t be the same.  Avery, Burrows, and even McLeod add some spunk to the competition and in many ways adds valor to the game protecting the honor of their teammates.  And there’s nothing better than a great hockey fight.

Advertisements

Avery Again

New York Ranger Sean Avery has been at the top of my shit list for a few years, but this year, Flame Dion Phaneuf, has achieved the top status.  As I draft my fantasy team every year, I always pick up a New York Ranger.  I’ve drafted Dubinsky, Callahan, the best goaltender, Henrik Lundquist, even Sean Avery years back before the battle with his cheap shots and loose talk.  But my moment of humble pie set in when I had to draft two players due to IR status for David Clarkson and Joffrey Lupul.  Like a kid in a candy store, I was able to pick up two freebie players to try out for a few weeks to months.  My fist pick was Wayne Simmonds of the LA Kings whose impressive play stood out.  Wayne would take care of goals and assists.

The next best type of player to have on your team is the PIM guy, the fighter.  So I popped in the roster stats to PIM and found a list including Sean Avery.  Had I gotten over his behavioral issues with that chick from 24 who now ironically is with Phaneuf?  Did what he say really matter?  Isn’t he just like any New Yorker, whose attitude I defend because I like it and appreciated the bluntness and their matter of fact way?  Not exactly.

Before making any move I cruised the Rangers roster to make certain I wasn’t missing anyone I couldn’t live without.  Brandon Dubinsky was on IR, Ryan Callahan was taken in both leagues, and I’ve broken up with Chris Drury for good after last year. Del Zotto was gone and far away from my reach in my leagues.  Defensemen Dan Girardi, Michal Rozsival, and Wade Redden didn’t exactly have the chutzpah I was looking for in defending my blue line.  I wanted a fighter.

Earlier in the year I posed the question in my story, Juicing Up the Big Apple, was Donald Brashear, punk or player?  I went on to say: Really?  Some say he’s the best defenseman in the league, but all I’ve seen is bashing. I’m a fan of fighting when it’s making room for the players to play, but some of his antics seem bullying.  He’s tallied one point yet 54 penalty minutes.  Still wasn’t interested.

Sean Avery raged 19 PIMs Saturday against the Penguins and caught my attention. So, alas, he has taken a LW seat on my roster being challenged for starts against Alex Burrows, Michael Cammalleri, and Tuomo Ruutu.  With 11 points on the season and 44 penalty minutes, he’ll get his start on Monday.   I think Sean will have a few weeks to prove himself or it’s back in the bin.

Glows and Blows- Week 3

Glows-

The Phoenix Coyotes who beat the Red Wings in overtime with an unexpected bounce of the puck off of goalie Chris Osgood’s stick.  Great game.

Sid the Kid played his 300th game with a power play goal, shorthanded goal and shootout goal to win over the Florida Panthers Friday.

Blows-

Oiler Sheldon Souray managed to bring the gossip to the NHL, with messy divorce and custody battle reports usually heard only in the NBA or NFL pages.

Sean Avery finally hit his limit when the New Jersey Devils came to The Garden clocking five for fighting with Mike Mottau.

Colorado Avalanche commentators for the Avs-Wings game Saturday, who showed their lack of hockey knowledge to suggest that the Red Wings era was over, and that the buzz in Detroit followed suit.  Have you been to Michigan?  Talk like that will get you in trouble.  Don’t Cross My Blue Line!

Preseason Promenade

I’ve watched a few preseason games, but frankly I’m bored.  Those games don’t really count except for those who are analyzing every move to be the first with predictions.   Okay, I’m game.  The rookies are out and about on the ice, coaches have come and gone, and the mix mastered versions of the teams display AHL players that will be filling the void soon.  If preseason really matters, then here are my rants, raves and more predictions.

Wayne Gretzky’s gone; who really thinks that will make the Phoenix Coyotes better?  I’m a huge fan of Wayne, but it was dismal to see his team falter. I had hopes this year that the Coyotes would be better with a decent line-up of Lombardi, Doan, Turris, Upshall, and yes, even Prucha.  But to my dismay, my Phoenix friends all say they are sitting out this year and turning elsewhere to root for a hockey team.

Sean Avery and his sprained knew creates an entire discussion of the defense for the New York Rangers.  Brashear will have to do some serious bashing to get room for the puck to move.  But not all hope lies in Avery.  Brandon Dubinsky and the team have arrived at a fair settlement so he can play.  On Bluehsirt Banter, the prospect of Heatley for Dubinsky got into a who’s who of who knows hockey.  Just like football, we can’t concern ourselves with whining over scoring stats.  Sure, I don’t care for certain players, but the Rangers don’t have that king of luxury right now.

The Detroit Red Wings are holding back because they know the real season starts October 1st.  Why would they risk any player being hurt when their main goal for the year is to reclaim the Stanley Cup?

Teams to watch this year with interesting promise but may not have enough punch to pack the house:

Eastern Conference:

Tampa Bay Lighting– When you put Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Swedish rookie, Victor Hedman together in the first line, I’m curious.  How can that not work?

Washington Capitals- Alexander Ovechkin rocks, we all know that, but I’ll be watching to see if the young goalie, Simeon Varlamov can hold it together.  Critics doubt the strength of this goaltender for the full-season impact, but what I saw last year in the unraveling of the New York Rangers was impressive.   And, Don Cherry loves to rip on Ovechkin for his grandstanding.   How ironic.

New Jersey Devils– So I’m more of a fan of those New York teams, but I have to give it up for the Devils.  Despite Brodeur, I like most of the players.  Travis Zajac, Zach Parise and David Clarkson have all caught my attention like no other New Jersey team in the past.  I’ll be watching and drafting from this team.

Western Conference

St. Louis Blues- With veteran Paul Kariya out last year, the group of young guns stepped up and stood out.  T.J. Oshie, Patrick Berglund, and David Backes, to name a few will fire up the crowds this year.

Chicago Blackhawks- Take no prisoners.  Out for blood.  Now that the team has Marian Hossa, the team should be amazing.  Right?  Let’s hope so after all the hoopla surrounding the team of Toews, Kane, Keith and some other good players that don’t get noticed as much: Dave Bolland, Andrew Ladd, and Brent Seabrook. Deep dish pizzazz or digging deeper into a cheesy situation.

San Jose Sharks- Because who won’t be watching?  Now that Dany Heatley is in and ineffectual Jonathan Cheechoo is out, the team may have a chance.  Players like M-C Vlasic, Ryan Clowe, and of course, Joe Thornton will try to regain the fierceness in the Shark Tank.  All hope is on Heatley.  But that may not be enough.  I’m watching from afar.  I’ll be keeping track of Dan Boyle’s stats.

Big D in the Big Apple

The New York Rangers recently held their early “look” camp for  the media who had the task of  speculating how the players would impact the season; most importantly, who was to be the breakout candidate in New York.  Great promise in prospects with some moving up from the Wolfpack and into the Garden have put the #9 NYR prospect, Matt Gilroy as the top rookie to watch.  As the Hobey Baker winner last year, and Boston University player, Gilroy has the pedigree of a classy yet productive player.

Ryan McDonagh and Bobby Sanguinetti are considered to be the possible blue line boys in the secondary to cover Dan Girardi and Marc Staal.

Mike Roszival and Wade Redden will start on the blue line for the Rangers.

Avery will be the stand up guy on the line, but the goal scoring is where the Rangers are counting on his attack. Torts wants to run this Broadway show with speed and grit, therefore has Brashear sporting the enforcer tag.