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Shakedown - Brodeur and Avery Epitome of Class - NOT

The New York Rangers eliminated the New Jersey Devils on Friday night and something different happened during the traditional hand-shake ceremony. Martin Brodeur refused to shake Sean Avery's hand and passed him by, while shaking everyone else's hand. Pretty funny stuff.

Avery wasn't amused though and called out Brodeur in the press afterwards. Is Sean Avery really that clueless? After employing questionable tactics against the Jersey goalie, did he think Brodeur would give him a kiss on the cheek as he skated by? While I'm not necessarily a fan of Marty Brodeur, his action, (or lack thereof,) doesn't really bother me in this particular scenario.

Sean Avery is the most hated player in the NHL. Even his own team-mates don't like him. Maybe someday he'll try playing with at least a touch of honor and respect, but until then, I doubt that Martin Brodeur will be the last player who passes him by in a hand-shake line.

In other playoff action, the Wings eliminated the Predators and the Stars did the same to the Ducks. Calgary and San Jose will play in a tension filled game 7 on Tuesday night while Boston forced a game 7 scheduled for Monday night in Montreal. In a game 7 scenario anything can happen, but the home team has a huge advantage. I look for both the Habs and Sharks to come out on top.

The Caps are still fighting for their lives against the Flyers. I think that the Flyers will finish up that series in Philadelphia, also on Monday night. They have more skill and more depth and have done a great job neutralizing Alexander Ovechkin so far in that series, but I must admit that Alexander Semin and Mike Green continue to impress. It should be a great game 6.

Finally, the Albany River Rats beat the Philadelphia Phantoms on Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-1. Mike Leighton had another excellent game and made 38 saves on 39 shots as the Rats took a 2-1 lead in that series. The boys lost the previous game on Friday night, 3-0. They will return home to Albany for the next 2 games.

Tim Conboy received an 8 game suspension, supposedly for leaving the bench to join in a fight near the end of game 1. The only problem was that he never technically left the bench, he just never left the ice during an apparent line change and the Rats had 6 players against 5 for the Phantoms during a major, line versus line skirmish. An 8 game suspension seems a bit heavy handed to me, especially since he didn't hurt anyone. But according to regulation, there is a minimum 6 games for leaving the bench in that situation. The extra 2 games were doled out because he didn't stop fighting when told to by officials. Heaven forbid.

In my opinion, a bit of leniency could have been employed while interpreting the rules in this case. It's not like he was the 6th man in because he hopped over the bench to join in the fray, he was already on the ice.

Apparently the AHL is run by the same numbnuts as in the NHL, brainiacs who will hand out 1 or 2 game suspensions if one player rams another player headfirst into the boards which results in a serious injury, but then will give out 6 to 8 game suspensions for not following the "Marquess of Queensberry" rules when fighting. Whatever.

Bob Seger