Chris Pronger is the first victim of the “Sean Avery” rule

Unfortunately for him, it was enforced incorrectly and it likely cost the Flyers a win against the Calgary Flames.

If you’re unfamiliar with this, ever since Sean Avery’s unique screen of Martin Brodeur a few years ago the NHL made it illegal to screen a goaltender by not facing the play and distracting the goaltender. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be issued to those who do. This is what was called on Pronger when he screened Kiprusoff on what lead to what would have been the game winning goal for the Flyers. As you can see, it’s a pretty bad call. Pronger was facing Kiprusoff the whole time and the only thing that would constitute as distracting the goalie was Pronger sticking his arm out. Whether he was doing that to distract Kipper or just direct the play is up in the air but I personally think it wa sthe latter.

I think the big problem with this being called “unsportsmanlike conduct” is that wouldn’t the refs call it when Pronger stuck his hand in front of Kiprusoff? They called it when the goal was scored to wave it off which leads me to say that this is one of the worst calls I’ve seen in awhile. I’m not going to cry “THE LEAGUE IS OUT TO GET THE FLYERS!” like a lot of fans are but this just an example of how bad officiating is in professional sports and the league needs to do something to fix it. This can be said about pretty much every sport, sadly.

Pronger’s comments about it were also entertaining “I guess it doesn’t matter what I think. I’m not going to get into the he said-she said with the refs. And I’m the he.”.

 

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