If there’s one thing Game 2 of the Maple Leafs-Bruins playoff series wasn’t short on it was post-game discussion.
The Bruins’ 4-1 win was a chippy affair to say the least, with bodies flying left, right, and centre, bloody jerseys a common sight, and a nasty finale that had the hockey world abuzz.
It should come as very little surprise that Sean Avery - who brings a reputation as an agitator on and off the ice - entered the fray. The 10-year NHL veteran unloaded a profane rant on Instagram outlining his thoughts on Jake DeBrusk’s hit on Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri’s retaliation.
Here’s Avery’s take slide-for-slide on his Instagram story:
Slide 1: “That f—ing hit that Jake DeBrusk threw on Patrick Marleau in the Leafs-Bruins game was a dirty f—king hit.”
That’s not a particularly hot take. DeBrusk wasn’t penalized, but there’s an argument to be made there was ill intent in his choice to deposit Marleau into the stanchion. Marleau popped up instantly afterwards, so at the very least there appeared to be no injury.
Slide 2: “That’s one of those unwritten rule hits that you don’t throw, especially to a guy who’s played 20 f—king years in the NHL. But obviously the refs had the whistle up their ass, or they were to f—king slow and were two lines behind the play, so they didn’t see it, so they didn’t call it.”
Once again, Avery is still largely on the rails here. There’s a real argument to be made the referees missed something here. Whether older veterans deserve different treatment on the ice is very much up for debate.
Slide 3: “That f—ing DeBrusk kid, that’s a greasy f—ing hit. Ok?”
Whether you agree with that statement or not, it’s simple and to the point.
Slide 4: “It’s time for f—king Auston Matthews to wake up. Game 3 he should drop the gloves with DeBrusk and go toe-to-toe at centre ice, set the f—ing tone for the home crowd. Let’s go Leafs.”
Here is the “wait, what?” moment. There’s no way in which a situation involving DeBrusk, Kadri, and Marleau is suddenly a problem for Auston Matthews to solve. Even if you’re a strong supporter of fighting’s role in hockey, the idea of Matthews - who has 38 penalty minutes in his career and very much doesn’t fit - dropping the mitts is bonkers.
There’s no world in which the Maple Leafs profit from Matthews risking both concussion and hand injuries in a scrap to send a message. Even in the best-case scenario he hurts his team by sitting off for five minutes. The idea of a puck-drop brawl led by the prolific goal scorer is patently ridiculous.
Slide 5: “Here we go all you yippity yappy Bruins fans. ‘What about Kadri’s hit?’ ‘What about Kadri’s hit?’ The only problem with Kadri’s hit was that he didn’t take the top f—king row of DeBrusk’s teeth.”
Not the most enlightened commentary.
Ultimately, Avery comes off sounding like an irrational but passionate Maple Leafs fan. Which is probably a pretty good description of where the retired forward is at this point.
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