Sean Avery never shied away from a chirp or on-ice confrontation during his 10-year NHL career. On Saturday, the retired winger chimed in on the dispute between Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk and his Maple Leafs counterpart, Nazem Kadri.
DeBrusk and Kadri scuffled multiple times Saturday during Boston’s 4-1 win over Toronto in Game 2 of the first-round series. In the second period, DeBrush upended Kadri with a knee-to-knee collision that sent him to the dressing room. Then, with six minutes remaining in the game, Kadri was ejected for a cross-check to Debrusk’s head.
DeBrusk was helped off the ice after the hit. Kadri faces a suspension that could exceed the three-game ban he received during last year’s series between the teams.
Enter Avery. On his Instagram story, the former New York Ranger weighed in with a profane rant.
First, Avery said that one check Jake DeBrusk laid on Toronto’s Patrick Marleau was a “dirty f****** hit.” Avery described the hit as one that unwritten NHL rules prohibit, especially against an experienced veteran. He suggested the referees were too slow to see the play or simply swallowed the whistle. (He put it a bit more colorfully.)
“That f****** DeBrusk kid,” Avery continued. “That’s a greasy f****** hit. Ok?”
Avery went on to claim that it’s time for Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews — not known for dropping the gloves — to go toe-to-toe with DeBrusk at center-ice. He believes doing so would set the tone for the Scotiabank Arena crowd in Game 3.
Finally, Avery addressed “yippity yappy Bruins fans” who had pointed to Kadri’s cross-check.
“‘What about Kadri’s hit?’ ‘What about Kadri’s hit?’” Avery said. “The only problem with Kadri’s hit was that he didn’t take the top f****** row of DeBrusk’s teeth.”
Avery earned multiple fines and a six-game suspension for crude comments during his playing days, and even spurred the creation of the “Avery Rule” after screening a goalie with his back to the play.
The Bruins renew acquaintances with the Maple Leafs, who could be without their third-line center, on Monday at 7 p.m.