The Hump-day Hater

Sean Avery

He’s back folks. I was wondering how long it would take for the Avery we all know and hate to return to his usual antics. This time, Avery took liberties on Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins last week during Boston’s final game.

During a TV time-out, Avery gave a little “love tap” on the back of the helmet of the Bruin goaltender and then played the incident off as an accident. Really Sean?

Tim Thomas bought Avery’s “accident” as much as a little kid buys asparagus. Thomas chased Avery out to center ice where he got a couple shots on Avery before he was confronted by Frederick Sjostrom of the Rangers. Thomas also got a couple of shots on Sjostrom with his glove and blocker.

None of the referees saw the incident.

Tap of the Stick/Drop of the Gloves

Tap of the stick: Don Koharski

After 32 years of service to the National Hockey League, Don Koharski called it quits at the end of this season. I know we’re all harsh on referees from time to time (I know what you’re thinking: “Us? Harsh on refs? No way!).

Koharski began refereeing in the WHA at age 19 in 1975 and eventually worked his way up to officiating over 1,500 games in the NHL. He was the league’s second most senior official behind Kerry Fraser, who is still susceptible to cheap shots until he retires.

Best of luck, and tap of the stick, to Don Koharski.

Drop of the Gloves: Lindy Ruff

The Sabres’ coach has been named the coach of Team Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Yet, for the second consecutive year, Ruff has not taken his team to the post-season, finishing tenth in the conference both years.

This is an echoing of Team USA hiring Ron Wilson, who hasn’t done much for the Maple Leafs this year either. Certainly, though, the teams will provide plenty of talent to make up for any lack of coaching.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these two coaches are bad. I’m just saying their qualifications for the 2010 Olympics aren’t very high at the moment.

Tap of the Stick: Boston University

BU won the Frozen Four last Saturday with a thrilling overtime win over Miami (OH). The efforts put forth by all four finalists were truly spectacular. Both of the other teams, Bemidji State and Vermont, certainly didn’t disappoint either.

Boston earned their school’s fifth nation championship and the team’s first since 1995.

I did what?

Drew Mackenzie, Vermont Defenseman

‘Sticking’ with NCAA hockey (ba dum chh)…

After scoring the first goal of his college career, Drew Mackenzie did not want his second to go on record. This is because it was in his own net.

The youngster accidentally pushed the game-winning goal into his own net in the semi-final matchup with Boston University. The goal, which came late in the game, tied the game back up for the Terriers on their way to the title game.

Regardless, these are just kids and they aren’t accident proof. It was a game well-played by the Catamounts and they can hold their heads high for a great season.

Stanley’s dishwasher

New York Islanders

Since we know who is playing in the post-season later today, I thought it would be nice to take a look back on the ultimate dishwasher of the season: the New York Islanders.

Just focusing on their final weeks of the season was depressing enough, so I won’t go any further than that. In the month of April alone, the Islanders went 1-6. Of their six losses, five of them were by five goals or more. They gave up nine to Carolina, six to Pittsburgh and Boston, and five to Washington and Montreal. They also dropped a 3-2 game to Philadelphia and their only win was a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.

Appropriately enough, I was checking some of the NHL team websites Monday night to see what they were up to and when I got to the Islanders, I had to chuckle. While everyone else was either getting ready for the playoffs or reviewing some of the high-notes of a playoff-less season, the Islanders’ top story ready: “Draft Lottery Set For Tomorrow.”

Oh those Islanders.

I hope this week’s column was informative and entertaining for all. I’ll be back next week with a first round playoff edition: same time, same place.