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Article:Friday Fryer (May 2, 2008)

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A look at the sports week's biggest losers…
A public service by guest host Pittsburgh Gunny on behalf of Christof as requested by SSreporters


Time for another installment of the Friday Fryer.  This is my first attempt at this so it may not be that good, but oh well, I'll have a go. 

In this edition of the Fryer I decided to focus on what is in my sporting world one of the greatest events out there, the Stanly Cup Playoffs.  For my money this is when the best hockey in the world is played.  Each game means so much and each shift is played hard.  Players go all out to try and come away with a win which means you are one step closer in lifting that wonderful chalace above your head.  But be warned do not anger the hockey gods in your pursuit.

Guy Carbonneau
In his playing days Guy was perhaps the quintessential defensive forward for the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars.  He won three Selke Trophies emblematic of the League's Top Defensive Forward.  He also earned three Stanley Cups, two with the Habs and one in Texas.  He is also a finalist this season for the Jack Adams Trophy awarded to the League's top coach.  If anyone should know what it takes to win this time of year it should be Guy.

However, Guy made a decision in the Canadiens series against the Philadelphia Flyers that I just had to shake my head in disbelief.  In game three the Flyers had put 3 pucks behind rookie netminder Carey Price.  For the third period Carbonneau pulled the youngster and opted for little used backup Jaroslav Halak.  Who?  Yeah that's what I said as well.  Now this is not the move that prompted me to make Carbonneau a finalist, no, it was his decision in game 4 to start Halak over Price.  What resulted was a goalie looking lost and the Canadiens playing with too much thought on protecting the goal and the Flyers were predatory coming away with the win and now sit just one win away from the Eastern Conference Final.

I would think that Carbonneau would realize that the hockey gods usually smile on the Canadiens in the playoffs when a rookie goalie is starting.  I do believe the names of Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy are testament to that fact.

Cody McLeod
The Colorado Avalanche are now on the golf course thanks to the domination of the Detroit Red Wings.  In all honesty this was the most lopsided series of the Conference Semi-Finals.  The Red Wings were easily the better team and have now earned some time off before facing either the Dallas Stars or San Jose Sharks.

So why does Colorado's Cody McLeod deserve to be on this esteemed list?  Because in game 2 of the series he taunted not only the Red Wings, their fans, but also the hockey gods with his actions just after the National Anthem.  You see in Detroit they have this wonderful old tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice prior to a playoff game.  The thinking goes, when the tradition started anyways, that once in the playoffs in the 6 team NHL it only took eight wins to capture La Coupe Stanley.  Eight wins, eight arms on the octopus, well it's creative if nothing else.  So in that tradition the aforementioned ink spewing marine creature was tossed onto the ice in Jou Louis Arena.  McLeod then went to the ocean dweller, picked it up and shook it in the direction of Detroit's Dallas Drake and then threw it off the ice in the direction of the Avs dressing room.  Why did he do it?  McLeod said, "Just to let them know they were going to be in a battle."  Battle indeed, the hockey gods are not amused.


Philadelphia 76ers
So as I signed up for this assignment I was told that one of my selections had to be about Philadelphia.  With the Flyers flying high I really could not choose them, although I would have liked too, so I did a quick check of how the other teams in Philly are doing and whaddya know I discover that the 76ers have been eliminated from the NBA post season by the team from Detroit.

I wonder if the Pistons fans throw an octopus on the ice?

Sean Avery
Perhaps the most disliked player in the entire National Hockey League.  Avery playing for the New York Rangers is famous now for the "Avery Rule" so named when he was doing his face shielding antics against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs. 

Now as the Rangers came into the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins Avery was up to his worst once more.  His harrassment of Sidney Crosby vis-a-vis a viscious slash to Crosby's arm and a high stick to his face make me want punch my television.  Avery is a punk and the Rangers should be embarrassed to have him on the team.  However in game three it all came to a head.  As the game wound down to the final seconds, Avery was standing in front of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and harrassing him, just as he had done all game long.  As time expired Fleury gave Avery a little tap with his stick which then caused Avery to turn around and spear Fleury right in the chest.  Well the U.S.S. Hal Gill loaded the torpedo tubes and went right at that nasty pest.  As usual Avery upon seeing the U.S.S. Hal Gill steaming towards him, at full speed and torpedo tubes full, turtled to avoid any meaningful confrontation.  Another action that confirms his spot as the Chicken Little of the NHL.

In the end though Avery had built up enough bad karma, so much so that the hockey gods acted.  Early in the morning of the next day following his antics Avery was rushed to the hospital with what was found out to be a lacerated spleen.  It appears that Avery will make a full recovery and still be able to follow through with his Vogue magazine apprenticeship but the hockey gods were served.

So there you have it my first take on the Fryer, now go and enjoy your weekend, play like Gary Roberts today and please do not anger the hockey gods.

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