"...it is tantamount to state-sanctioned terrorism."
Before you think we've lost our minds and have been recruited to write a political blog for Rush Limbaugh or Daily Kos, let us assure you...this is hockey related.
The statement above was penned in all seriousness by our favorite spewer of parochial crap, Larry Brooks. Was he recruited by Rush Limbaugh or Daily Kos? No. The esteemed Professor Brooks penned an essay in constitutional law in this morning's New York Post, arguing that Sean Avery (the party of the first part), forward for the New York Rangers, suffered "unequal treatment under the law" at the hands of Dave Jackson (the party of the second part) and Steve Kozari (the party of the third part), referees both.
Brooks submitted his evidence...
"Avery was slammed into the boards away from the puck early in the first; crosschecked in the slot at a whistle soon after that; run in the neutral zone without the puck by Hal Gill in the second; and, hit upside the head by Gill later in the period."
It might be the first time in a legal brief that the phrase, "hit upside the head" was offered as testimony, but Brooks is nothing if not innovative in his turn of phrase when waxing indignant on the treatment of his beloved Rangers. He grieved for the future of the NHL, if not civiliation itself when he pleaded...
"...the refusal of the officials to call infractions committed in plain sight against the Rangers' winger not only casts doubt on the integrity of the NHL, it is tantamount to state-sanctioned terrorism."
It was worthy of a rant on a team message board. All that was missing was, "we wuz robbed" as closing argument.
The Rangers lost to Pittsburgh, 4-3. Avery failed to register a shot on goal.
The Penguins definitely took runs at Avery and their physical players (Gill, Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik) were definitely making a point to finish off checks on Avery.
I liken it to stamping out a bug when it gets in your house before he can scurry around and do damage/be annoying. As you noted, Avery had little impact on the game--the only notable play he made was unintentionally costly. Avery threw a pass from behind the Pens net that ended up on the goal line and Rob Scuderi chipped it out, leading directly to a Pens 3 on 1 and a Ruslan Fedotenko goal. That play had some puck luck, but Avery and the Rags were trapped deep too.
Larry Brooks appears to have lost his mind by using that terrorism analogy. We all know that NHL refs follow their own laws, which sorta kinda follow the NHL rulebook, when it comes to calling penalties.
1) There was NO doubt that the penguins had a bull's-eye on Avery's back. Its debatable if the refs are either deliberately or passively allowing opponents to take liberties with the games biggest on/off ice villain.
2) Deserved or not, it was a good strategy to get under the skin of the agitator before he tries to do the same to you!
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