Monday, April 7, 2008

Cirque du Laperriere

Over the course of the regular season as well as during his tenure with the Avalanche, Ian Laperriere has become a fan favorite for his ability to get under the skin of opponents, and during overtime of yesterday’s game against the Wild the Avs favorite pest did not disappoint.

I have looked at the replays, and I have read the recaps from both teams. And what happened yesterday between Marian Gaborik and Laperriere is undoubtedly a classic chapter in the big book of hockey pestilence.

It was so important that if the Avalanche should win their first round series I’m pointing to the moment when Gaborik took the bait as the reason for the victory.

Lappy is in your heads, Minnesota. You’re welcome.

Tell me, at what point did Gaborik, the reason Minnesota can function offensively as a team, decide it was a good idea to, on more than one occasion take the bait?

Did he want to fire up his team?

Did he want to prove a point to the Avs?

Or, was Ian Laperriere making Gabby itchy?

Laperriere is like sandpaper for the soul.

My biggest question is if Lappy was becoming such a big problem, why was Gaborik even on the ice in a then meaningless overtime? Was Jacques Lemaire legitimately trying to get a goal out of his star? Really?

Maybe he was… I mean it is hard to score goals when half your roster is composed of fighters, and all your team does is play the kind of trapping hockey that is killing the sport.

This is going to be a long series for both teams. The term “bloodbath” comes to mind. Minnesota will grind, the Avalanche will try and find ways around it, both goaltenders will see a lot of traffic in front of the net, and there will be plenty of beatings to go around.

I don’t care about whatever unwritten book of hockey rules stated that it wasn’t okay that Lappy fought Minnesota’s star player. Actually, I’d like to find this mysterious book and the chapter where it says it is okay for Derrick Boogaard and the rest of the Wild (most of whom should be playing in the minors) to beat on Peter Forsberg. That has been happening for years. In fact, this season even Joe Sakic has seen his share of rough and tumble play out of Northwest division opponents. And if there is anyone who is considered to be universally untouchable it is Joe.

So go ahead Minnesota, bring the noise against the Avalanche in the first round. They can take it. I’m not worried, because Ian Laperierre is already in your heads.

Welcome to the playoffs.

No comments: