Deep in the heart of Texas, Sean Avery apparently has discovered a sidekick, a partner in agitation, if you will.
Introducing Sean Avery and Steve Ott: Hockey's Most Despised Duo.
While Avery's omnipresent shenanigans are well-documented, it was Ott who was ripped by Cherry on national television for his so-called "shameful" tactics during the Boston Bruins' 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Last night, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli followed up Cherry's comments by saying Avery and Ott "were a bit out of control."
"I just think things got carried away in the heat of battle," Chiarelli added during a phone interview from Boston.
Cherry was disgusted by Ott's refusal to drop the gloves with Bruins players, who were livid with the Dallas forward for several questionable hits near the boards.
Avery would stick his nose into the festivities, too, leading to a fight-filled third period.
Chiarelli thinks their respective acts can be over the top, at times.
"I kind of like the way they play but the antics at times can be, well, silly," Chiarelli said. "I'm not necessarily saying that was the case (Saturday), but the game got out of hand because of their chirping.
"We knew what to expect. It's not so much living by the sword, dying by the sword -- you just have to expect reciprocation."
When it comes to dealing with two such pests, Chiarelli is old-school.
"I am a supporter of self-policing when the moment is right," he said.
Does that mean he is against the instigator rule?
"Let's just say I was one of the general managers who voted to raise the threshold for the number of instigator penalties a player receives before a suspension is implemented.
"What they do is theatre. If (Avery) goes over the line, like he did when he was waving his arms in front of Martin Brodeur in the playoffs last year, the league will step in like it did then."
For all the entertainment value Avery and Ott might bring to the table, Cherry and Chiarelli were on the mark when describing the duo's schtick. If not shameful, it certainly can be "silly."
The Pittsburgh Penguins would be an interesting fit for free-agent veteran Brendan Shanahan. Lack of secondary scoring has been an issue for the Pens ... GM Paul Holmgren has been patient thus far, but that hasn't stopped reports from circulating out of Philly that the Flyers might be looking for goaltending help. Watching Marty Biron beaten five times by the Edmonton Oilers yesterday in a 5-4 home ice loss likely will stir up those rumblings even further. As always, the issue, as it is in the Flyers' interest in Mats Sundin, revolves around its lack of cap space. If a goalie such as Chicago's Nik Khabibulin is on their radar, there is a lot of work to be done in order to clear room under the cap for either he or Sundin.
NO PARTY FOR MARTY
The Stars will spend much of the coming week attempting to help struggling goalie Marty Turco regain his form.
Concerns for Turco caused the Stars to beckon goaltending coach Andy Moog from the road for an emergency session.
Moog's analysis: "He's frustrated. That's the first and the last sign I see out of him."
Turco claims he has played "a lot worse in my career than this," but those who saw him allow a couple of smelly goals in the 5-1 loss to the Bruins on Saturday might disagree.
Through one month of the season, Turco sports a 4.26 goals-against average and an .842 save percentage, a far cry from his 2.19 career GAA.
BY THE NUMBERS
How rare is seeing a Devils game without Brodeur between the pipes? The future Hall of Famer has appeared in 165 of the Devils' past 174 regular season games. He will sit out tonight's contest against the Buffalo Sabres with a bruised left elbow ... By beating the Leafs yesterday, Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette is within one victory of matching John Tortorella (239) for the most wins by an American-born coach ... Sign of the economic times: The disappointing crowd of 10,584 in Atlanta yesterday for the Thrashers' 5-3 win over Florida marked the third time this season the they have failed to crack the 12,000 barrier.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The annual Hall of Fame game sees the Montreal Canadiens meet the Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. Inductees include players Glenn Anderson and Igor Larionov; builder Ed Chynoweth, linesman Ray Scampinello and respected journalist Neil Stevens.