The Dump and Chase: 17/01/2011

You just never know when Matt Carle is going to turn the tables in a fight, so you have to keep swinging.

The Dump and Chase is a daily collection of links in which we attempt to round up the latest breaking news and analysis from around the web. We also like videos and things that are absurd.

Sean Avery scoffs at that old wive’s tale that men shouldn’t be hit while they’re down

There’s a reason Sean Avery is the king of all NHL villains. He’s the Joker, Riddler, Darth Vader, the leader of the Decepticons, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus all blended into one molotov cocktail of jerk and stupidity. But, as I’ve written in the past, the concept of the pest in hockey is no new revelation, and it’s a role that’s been around far longer than most of us would like to admit. Whether it was Matt Barnaby or Esa Tikkanen before him, there’s been a player assigned to be that diseased rash under the skin of the opponent for quite some time.

It’s hard to remember anyone that’s been hated more than Avery though. In fact, I think it’s impossible, and his abandonment of any shred of respect has fuelled this hatred. The utter detest for Avery goes beyond his incidents, like last night’s pounding on Matt Carle while he was down on the ice, a player who hadn’t fought yet in 352 NHL games, and has a grand total of 123 career penalty minutes. Yep, Avery sure knows how to pick the heavyweights.

The incidents cause instinctive cringing and fist-clenching, but what’s worse is the smirk Avery skates around with afterwards. Mentally, he’s stuck in the phase where we all begin to learn how to differentiate between right and wrong.

So, basically, Avery has the intellect of a five-year-old.

Those who hit clean must pay

Now that we’ve had a day to soak in the utter stupidity of the melee after Drew Doughty’s destruction of Taylor Hall Saturday night, and the impulsive scrum that led to Wayne Simmonds missing at least two games, let’s approach this with a sense of calm.

First, here’s the hit one more time…

Any thought of Doughty being suspended is hard to fathom. We fully understand that a crushing hit is immediately put under the glare of about 17 magnifying glasses nowadays, and many are given a spin on the Wheel of Justice. But the prime purpose of the headshot legislation is to eradicate hits to the head coming from the blind-side, laterally, or from behind, the kind of hit where the victim has little or no time to prepare himself for a blow.

Hall received a pass and skated for at least two strides before Doughty hit him straight on. Hall was well aware of Doughty’s presence, and had ample time to brace for a check.

The skirmish that followed was a predictable but still disappointing by-product of a league where even the cleanest, technically sound hit on a star player immediately halts play. Kings head coach Andy Murray didn’t enjoy seeing Simmonds limping off after a needless scrum, and was asked by Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider how he’d react if he was on the other bench.

“It depends on the hit. (Nashville’s Shea) Weber hit Kopitar real hard on a great hockey hit the other night. That’s a great hit. That’s a clean, good hockey hit. That’s a defenseman doing his job. We had no issue with that, whatsoever. Hall went after Doughty right in front of our bench in the first period. That would have been a pretty good hockey hit too, and I even mentioned that after the game. That’s a good hockey hit. You can’t overreact and do these kinds of things that are happening around the game.”

This is Keith Ballard in a hockey bag, in a garbage can

The Vancouver Canucks are a loose bunch right about now. That happens when you’re playing on the best team in the NHL. Those long flights seem shorter, and the pranks get funnier, weirder, and filled with epic fail.

At first this looks like the Sedins teamed up with Tanner Glass–who fights bears–to take that time-honoured high school trick of stuffing someone in something and then laughing to another level. Nope.

As Pass It To Bulis tells us, this is part of a massive prank fail by defenceman Keith Ballard.

Be afraid of The Capital, be very afraid

The NHL’s Guardian project–a project far lamer than any grade eight science disaster–is unfortunately alive and well, and still rolling.

On Sunday the latest Stan Lee creation was unveiled: an eagle-like creature with satellite sight and atmospheric resistance who represents the Capitals. I’m not sure if those powers are enough to bring down Gary Bettmann’s evil laser eye monocle, but we can only hope.

The always innovative folks at the Russian Hockey Machine have other ideas, and have created a far fiercer character who “wields the uncomfortably phallic Washington Monument sword.” His name? The Capital: